The Advisory Committee for Immunization Practices voted to include the two groups in what they call Phase 1a of the CDC’s coronavirus vaccine distribution plan.
“Residents of long-term care facilities are defined as adults who reside in facilities that provide a variety of services, including medical and personal care, to people who cannot live independently,” said the CDC.
“Health personnel are defined as paid and unpaid persons serving in health care facilities who may be exposed directly or indirectly or to infectious material.”
The CDC says residents of long-term care facilities account for 6% of coronavirus cases and 40% of coronavirus deaths in the United States. More than 240,000 health workers have been infected with coronavirus and 858 have died, according to the CDC.
The only vote against the recommendation came from Dr Helen Talbot of Vanderbilt University, who said she was concerned the vaccine had not been studied in residents of long-term care facilities.
“We hope it works and we hope it is safe. This concerns me on several levels, ”Talbot said at the meeting.
But Dr Jose Romero, who chairs ACIP, said he believes these residents are at exceptional risk.
“I believe my vote represents maximum benefit, minimum harm, promoting justice and alleviating… health inequalities,” Romero said after the vote.