Health care workers expected to receive 1st round of COVID-19 vaccine
People working on the front lines of health care are expected to receive the first round of coronavirus vaccinations, along with long-term care facilities.
An advisory committee made the recommendation on Tuesday to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.
In a 13-1 vote, the Advisory Committee on Immunization Practices recommended that the health care workers who they believe to be the most at risk of contracting the virus would receive the first round of vaccines.
This would include 21 million health care workers and three million elderly people living in nursing homes and other long-term facilities that would receive the vaccine--which is a limited supply before anyone else.
The committee detailed that as of Nov. 30 health care professionals account for 243,000 coronavirus cases and 858 deaths.
Meanwhile, long-term care facility residents and staff account for 6% of cases and 40% of deaths.
The CDC director adopted the recommendation, according to its website. However, it is not mandatory so workers can choose to take it or not.
Dr. Brian Chang, who is part of the Committee and Interns and Residents of SEIU Healthcare, believes it’s best to wait for more research information to be released.
“I think at this point we should let the FDA do their job and kind of finalize the vaccine and see if you know it really is safe for everyone. And once that’s done I believe we can step forward after that,” said Chang.
Gov. Andrew Cuomo added that New York will prioritize nursing home residents and staff. He adds that the state could get Pfizer’s vaccine by Dec. 15 as long as the federal government approves making it available to the public on an emergency basis.
Lisa Newcomb, the executive director of the Empire State Association of Assisted Living, provided News 12 with a statement:
"ESAAL and its 300 licensed Adult Care Facility and Assisted Living Residence members are very pleased and thankful that New York State will direct its first apportionment of the COVID-19 vaccination supply to residents and staff in the Assisted Living and other Long Term Care sectors. Protecting our most vulnerable elders and the staff who care for them is our #1 priority and providing our members with access in the earliest phase of distribution will greatly improve the quality of life and well-being of the 30,000 seniors that they serve."