ACIP: Health workers, long-term care residents first tier for COVID-19 vaccine


Staggered immunization subprioritization urged

The CDC staff said that given the potential that not enough vaccine will be available immediately, it was recommending that health care organizations plan on creating a hierarchy of prioritization within institutions. And, they also urged staggering vaccination for personnel in similar units or positions, citing potential systemic or other reactions among health care workers.

“Consider planning for personnel to have time away from clinical care if health care personnel experience systemic symptoms post vaccination,” said Sarah Oliver, MD, MSPH, from the CDC.

The CDC will soon be issuing guidance on how to handle systemic symptoms with health care workers, Dr. Oliver noted.

Some 40 million doses of the Pfizer/BioNTech and Moderna vaccines are expected to be available by the end of December, with 5 million to 10 million a week coming online after that, Dr. Cohn said. That means not all health care workers will be vaccinated immediately. That may require “subprioritization, but for a limited period of time,” she said.

Dr. Messonnier said that, even with limited supplies, most of the states have told the CDC that they think they can vaccinate all of their health care workers within 3 weeks – some in less time.

The ACIP allocation plan is similar to but not exactly the same as that issued by the National Academy of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine, which issued recommendations in October. That organization said that health care workers, first responders, older Americans living in congregate settings, and people with underlying health conditions should be the first to receive a vaccine.

ACIP has said that phase 1b would include essential workers, including police officers and firefighters, and those in education, transportation, and food and agriculture sectors. Phase 1c would include adults with high-risk medical conditions and those aged 65 years or older.

This article first appeared on Medscape.com.


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