It’s very possible that in just a couple of weeks we will officially have a coronavirus vaccine authorized for use.
And it’s also very possible that within 24 to 48 hours of that authorization, individuals will begin to get the vaccine administered to them.
But who will be first in line to get the vaccine?
The Advisory Committee on Immunization Practices — an independent advisory committee within the Centers for Disease Control — has just spoke on that issue.
This panel makes recommendations to the CDC and they almost always accept them so whatever they recommend generally will be coming to practice.
So far, they have described the first phase of the vaccine rollout which will be known as phase 1A.
There are two groups in phase 1A and they represent around 24 million Americans.
There are 21 million healthcare workers and 3 million residents of long-term care facilities, also known as nursing homes.
These will be the top priorities for getting the vaccine out.
It makes a lot of sense that health coworkers will be prioritized given the close proximity that they have with the virus.
And it also makes sense that the elderly at long-term care facilities would also be prioritized considering how quickly their communities can get ravaged.
Some people are worried that some of the elderly people at these facilities might be too weak or frail to withstand the vaccination which requires two dosages.
The side effects are pretty mild and generally would involve flu like symptoms for a day or two for those people who do experience the symptoms.
(Remember, a lot of people don’t experience any noticeable side effects from the vaccination.)
For some elderly people, though, dealing with mild flu like symptoms might prove to be quite a challenge and pose some risk.
Dr. William Schaffner, an infectious disease expert at Vanderbilt University Medical Center, acknowledged the concern about giving the vaccine to elderly residents.
“Will the vaccine be as effective in that group? We’ll just have to find out.”
“There’s no right decision here, there’s no wrong decision here,” he added.
So it will be interesting to see what the experts find out about elderly folks receiving the vaccine.
The advisory panel is set to meet again in a couple of weeks to decide who will be next in line.
Most likely this will be people with pre-existing conditions and the panel will have to determine what pre-existing conditions will qualify.
Daniel Gillaspia is the Founder of UponArriving.com and the credit card app, WalletFlo. He is a former attorney turned travel expert covering destinations along with TSA, airline, and hotel policies. Since 2014, his content has been featured in publications such as National Geographic, Smithsonian Magazine, and CNBC. Read my bio.