NEW YORK (77WABC) – An independent panel advising the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention recommended that nursing home residents and its staff as well as health care workers should be the first people in the United States to receive the first doses of the covid-19 vaccines.
The panel overwhelmingly agreed that these two groups are at an especially high risk of being exposed to the virus that’s now killed over a quarter of million people in the United States alone.
The panel, the Advisory Committee on Immunization Practices, voted 13 to 1 during an emergency meeting to make the recommendation. The director of the C.D.C., Dr. Robert R. Redfield, is expected to decide by Wednesday whether to accept it as the agency’s formal guidance to states as they prepare to start giving people the shots as soon as two weeks from now.
States are not required to follow the panel’s recommendations, but they usually do. States and health care systems will ultimately decide which of the nation’s 21 million health care workers should qualify to receive the first doses, as there won’t be enough at first for everyone.