An independent advisory committee for the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention have recommended that frontline health care workers and residents of long-term care facilities be the first to receive available doses of an approved coronavirus vaccine, NBC News reports.
The first round of vaccines, which will be designated Phase 1A, may be distributed as early as the end of December. The 15-member panel, known as the Advisory Committee on Immunization Practices, was set up in 1964 to give the CDC director independent input on ethics, logistics and scientific matters. The committee’s findings, which passed with a 13-1 vote, are not binding, and the decisions about distribution will ultimately fall to state health officials.
There are expected to be 20 million doses each of the first two approved vaccine available by the end of the year, enough to inoculate 20 million people. There are approximately 32 million people in the United States who would be covered in the groups specified for Phase 1A.
The panel will meet again to determine who will be next in line for the vaccines, with teacher, police, people in food production and the elderly all viable populations.