CDC offers guidelines for vaccine distribution in the United States

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The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention on Wednesday proposed guidelines for distributing a coronavirus vaccine in the United States if and when one is approved for public use.The guidelines, unveiled in a presentation at the CDC’s Advisory Committee on Immunization Practices meeting, would prioritize healthcare workers, essential personnel, and vulnerable Americans, such as the elderly and those in pain. underlying health problems.

It would include all paid and unpaid people working in health care facilities. This includes hospitals, long-term care facilities, home care, outpatient centers and pharmacies. CDC estimates there are between 17 million and 20 million healthcare workers in the United States

Critical staff, who the CDC says make up 60 to 80 million of the population, working in food and agriculture, transportation, education, energy, wastewater and police, would also be among the first to be vaccinated, according to the proposal.

About 100 million people with health problems and 53 million people over the age of 65 would receive a vaccine.

There is currently no approved vaccine for the virus, which has infected 5.7 million Americans and killed at least 178,500, according to data compiled by Johns Hopkins University.

As public health officials and pharmaceutical companies rush to find a safe and effective vaccine by the end of the year, scientists and infectious disease experts are grappling with who will get the vaccine first and how. The United States will initially have a limited supply of vaccine doses that will not be widely available for “several months” in 2021, according to Dr Anthony Fauci, the country’s leading infectious disease expert.

Many experts said the vaccine should target groups most at risk first, including healthcare workers and the elderly as well as poor and minority communities, who have been disproportionately affected by the disease. virus.

Earlier this month, President Donald Trump told reporters during a White House press briefing that a coronavirus vaccine should probably be given to the elderly or the most vulnerable first, although he added that he would rely on the expertise of a doctor for this decision. “We are currently making a list. Mainly retirement homes, retirement centers, ”he said on August 14.

The CDC also noted in its guidelines Wednesday that it will be difficult to conduct vaccinations while practicing social distancing.

The agency said health care facilities such as provider offices or pharmacies may be better suited to provide immunization. It can be difficult for health workers to reach rural areas, minorities and populations with limited access to health care, the CDC said.

The CDC also said it was preparing for the possibility of distributing different types of vaccines at once.

The United States, as part of the Trump administration’s Operation Warp Speed ​​initiative, has already invested millions of dollars in six potential vaccines, including those from pharmaceutical companies Pfizer and Moderna, which have entered trials phase three last month. There is a chance that the vaccines will be ready around the same time.

Trump has previously said the United States will use the military to distribute the vaccine, but officials from the White House and the United States Department of Defense have challenged this.

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