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According to Dr. José Romero, who heads the committee that develops evidence-based vaccination guidelines for the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, health workers will almost certainly receive the COVID doses. -19 first in America.
It is a science-based decision about what will put down a pandemic fastest. “Not only are doctors and nurses interacting with patients, but support staff as well,” Romero said in an interview with NPR on Thursday. “It could include people delivering food or maintenance people who might come into contact with them,” so they can protect themselves and the patient from the virus, and stay healthy to maintain system care. US health care operations.
Romero chaired the Immunization Practices Advisory Committee, a long-standing CDC advisory group comprised of 15 voting members, along with other immunization specialists weighing in.
After the Food and Drug Administration has evaluated the COVID-19 vaccine as safe, effective, and approved for use, ACIP will make a quick recommendation to the CDC on how to use COVID-19 and who should get the shot first.
Romero told NPR’s Mary Louise Kelly in an interview on All Things Considered: “We anticipate there will be some vaccines for people at high risk – healthcare providers – on around December or early January ”. “And then more and more vaccines will be released.”
According to the CDC website, the commission’s goal in implementing the COVID-19 vaccine is to “reduce death and critical illness as much as possible”, keep society running, and reduce the burden of disparity in health.
In addition to health-care workers, three additional groups are considered by ACIP to be particularly vulnerable to COVID-19, based on their exposure or susceptibility to the virus: essential workers, those who be 65 years of age or older and anyone with an underlying medical condition associated with a serious illness from COVID-19 associated with severe illness from COVID-19.
The order of which of those groups will receive the first dose – and when – may depend on the specifics of the vaccine or which vaccines are ultimately FDA-approved. Those traits may include whether a particular vaccine has been shown to be effective in older adults, safe in people with conditions like cancer or heart disease, or safe during pregnancy. . It is too early to say which vaccines might best suit which group of people, he said.
“We haven’t seen any data yet because vaccine clinical trials are still underway,” Romero explained.
In the meantime, the committee members looked at possible scenarios using tools such as the CDC computer model that predicts the number of lives that would be saved, based on assumptions about the effectiveness of the vaccine and the number of people vaccinated.
By looking at these potential results now, the committee hopes to move on quickly once the vaccine is licensed. “There will be an emergency ACIP meeting within 24 to 48 hours after the FDA made their recommendation about the approval,” Romero said.
At that meeting, ACIP members will vote on dosage recommendations and a list of priority groups, which will become part of the CDC’s public health guidelines for states and territories. , on how to effectively vaccinate populations against disease. Those instructions will also signal the federal government to begin shipping vaccines to hospitals and immunization sites across the country.
“We want to have shots within 24 hours [of ACIP’s recommendations]”Paul Mango, a top official with the US Department of Health and Human Services, told reporters in a call last month.
The urgency the commission intends to move, says Romero, is motivated by the intention to save lives, Romero said – and not be affected politically.
“I have no contact [Trump] He said.
Public health officials are responsible for determining where vaccines should be distributed within their borders. Romero played a key role in that distribution in Arkansas, where he was also the medical secretary.
“We have identified the top 10 hospitals to receive initial allocation vaccines,” he said. “And as vaccines become more available, we will add more and more hospitals to that list.”