Coronavirus

Released guidelines list who should receive coronavirus vaccine first

FILE - In this Wednesday, June 24, 2020 file photo, a volunteer receives a COVID-19 test vaccine injection developed at the University of Oxford in Britain, at the Chris Hani Baragwanath hospital in Soweto, Johannesburg, South Africa. Politicians and public health leaders have publicly committed to equitably sharing any coronavirus vaccine that works, but the top global initiative to make it happen may allow rich countries to reinforce their own stockpiles while making fewer doses available for poor ones. (AP Photo/Siphiwe Sibeko, FIle)

INDIANAPOLIS (WISH) – A new report ranking which populations should be the first to receive the coronavirus vaccine was released on Tuesday by the National Academies of Sciences, Engineering and Medicine’s Committee on Equitable Allocation of Vaccine for the Novel Coronavirus.

The plan is based on the Centers for Disease Control’s Social Vulnerability Index, which is divided into four phases.

At the top of the list are front-line health care workers involved directly with COVID-19 patients including first responders. Vulnerable adults–irrespective of age–with “significant” underlying health conditions and the elderly living in nursing homes or other long-term care facilities should also be among the first to get vaccinated, according to the 114-page document. 

Phase 2 includes “critical risk workers essential to the functioning of society,” teachers and school staff, the homeless, those who are incarcerated, detention center workers and individuals with “moderate” underlying health conditions. 

Children, young adults and essential workers not included in Phase 2 constitute Phase 3. The remainder of the U.S. population rounds up the fourth and final phase. 

Attention, to date, has been put toward developing a safe and effective coronavirus vaccine. But health officials have warned since the beginning of Operation Warp Speed that there will likely be a shortage of that vaccine, especially now that evidence is mounting two doses will most likely be necessary for immunity.  

The committee is accepting public comments through Friday, Sept. 4. The final report is slated for release by the end of the month.

News 8’s medical reporter, Dr. Mary Elizabeth Gillis, D.Ed., is a classically trained medical physiologist and biobehavioral research scientist. She has been a health, medical and science reporter for over 5 years. Her work has been featured in national media outlets. You can follow her on Instagram @reportergillis and Facebook @DrMaryGillis.

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