The US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s (CDC) Advisory Committee on Immunization Practices (ACIP) advises the CDC on the populations and circumstances for which vaccines should be used. It met on Sunday [December 20] to identify which groups should be prioritized next in terms of vaccine distribution.
The first groups to receive the vaccine in the US have been healthcare professionals and long-term nursing homes residents.
In the next phase of the vaccine roll-out, Phase 1b, the ACIP advised that this should include Americans 75 and older and frontline workers including police and fire fighters, prison staff, US postal service workers, people who work in education, public transit workers, supermarket personnel, and anyone employed in the manufacturing, food and agriculture sectors.
Such frontline workers comprise 30 million Americans, according to the CDC.
Third phase in US vaccine roll-out
After that, Phase 1c should cover Americans aged 65-74, people 16-64 with high-risk medical conditions and other essential workers, according to US media reports yesterday.
The category of other essential workers in Phase 1c includes people in transportation and logistics, food service, construction and shelter and housing, finance, IT and communication, the energy sector, the media, the legal sector, public safety and water and wastewater industries.
It is estimated that there are about 57 million other essential workers in the US.
Shipping of Moderna's vaccine begins
There are now two Covid-19 vaccines that have been granted emergency use authorization in the US – the candidates from the Pfizer/BioNTech partnership and Moderna.
Moderna’s vaccine, which received EUA from the FDA on Friday [December 18], has already started shipping, confirmed US media.