The Centers for Disease Control’s (CDC) Advisory Committee on Immunization Practices (ACIP) has issued an Interim Recommendation for Allocation of the COVID-19 vaccine detailing the recommended order by which the COVID-19 vaccination should be offered to individuals. The recommendations are based on age, health and occupation. The Interim Recommendations are available here.
Currently, the ACIP recommends that individuals be offered the COVID-19 vaccination in the following order:
- Phase 1a: health care personnel and long-term care facility residents
- Phase 1b: persons aged 75 and older and non-health care frontline essential workers
- Phase 1c: persons aged 65 to 74 years of age, persons aged 16-64 years with high-risk medical conditions, and essential workers not included in Phase 1b
- Phase 2: all other persons aged 16 and older and not included in Phase 1a, 1b or 1c
“Non-health care frontline workers” recommended for vaccination in Phase 1b include first responders (e.g., fire fighters and police officers), corrections officers, food and agricultural workers, U.S. Postal Service workers, manufacturing workers, grocery store workers, public transit workers, individuals working in the education sector (e.g., teachers and support staff) and child care workers.
Essential workers recommended for vaccination in Phase 1c include those working in transportation and logistics, water and wastewater, food service, shelter and housing (e.g., construction), finance (e.g., bank tellers), information technology and communications, energy, legal (e.g., lawyers and court personnel), media, public safety (e.g., security personnel, engineers), and public health workers.
The purpose of the ACIP Interim Recommendation is to provide guidance for phased allocation while COVID-19 vaccine supply is limited. Where vaccine supply is insufficient to inoculate all workers in a given phase, state and local jurisdictions will need to decide how to sub-prioritize groups of people for vaccination. To assist with these decisions, the CDC has published guidance and considerations on sub-prioritization in phased implementation, which is available here. However, it should be noted that state and local governments are not obligated to follow these CDC recommendations, and may implement their preferred vaccination plans that vary from those propagated by the CDC.
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