The Advisory Committee on Immunization Practices voted to include both groups, known as Phase 1A of CDC’s Corona Virus Vaccine Distribution Program.
“Long-term care facility residents are defined as adults living in facilities that provide a variety of services, including medical and personal care, to persons who cannot live independently,” the CDC said.
“Health workers are defined as paid and unpaid persons working in health care systems with direct or indirect exposure or potential for infections.”
According to the CDC, long-term care facility occupants make up 6% of corona virus cases and 40% of corona virus deaths in the United States. More than 240,000 health workers have been infected with the corona virus, and 858 have died, according to the CDC.
The single vote against the recommendation came from Dr Helen Keep Talbot of Vanderbilt University, who said she was concerned that the vaccine had not been tested on residents of long-term care facilities.
“We hope it works, we believe it’s safe, it’s about me on many levels,” Talbot told the crowd.
Later, he added: “I have no reservation for health workers to take this vaccine.”
Early reports of the Pfizer and Modern vaccines claim that they are both safe and highly effective, preventing symptomatic infections in 95% of individuals who volunteer to be tested by both companies.
Dr Jose Romero, head of ACIP, said he believes long-term care facility residents are at exceptional risk.
“Our discussions are transparent and our intentions are clear,” Romero said after the vote.
“We are seeing an increase in the number of health care providers affected, some of whom have unfortunately passed away,” said Romero, who is also the health secretary of the Arkansas Department of Health.
“I believe my vote reflects the maximum benefit, the least harm, the promotion of justice and the mitigation of existing health inequalities in relation to the distribution of this vaccine.”
Dr. Robert Admar of Baylor Medical College initially said he was interested in adding long-term care facility residents to the first group.
“Eventually, residents of these facilities will be able to withstand the mortality and hospitalization, we will have an opportunity to review the significant performance initially reported and eventually … and monitor the plans. An extra mile to ensure that residents and their families are fully informed. “
Dr. Amanda Cohn, Executive Secretary of the ACIP, said that the next meeting of the FDA’s Advisory Committee on Vaccines and Related Biological Products, or VRPPAC, will meet on December 10 to decide on Pfizer’s application for the EU. .
“We expect the next ACIP meeting to take place sometime after the VRPPAC meeting,” Cohn said. The ACIP will vote to recommend whether any FDA-approved vaccine should actually be given to anyone in the United States.
CDC and ACIP are considering a four-phase plan to assign vaccines. Stages 1B and 1C include essential workers such as food production workers, those at high risk of infection, emergency personnel and those at high risk for corona virus complications and death.
The federal government expects the 40 million dose vaccine to be available in the United States by the end of December if both the Pfizer and Modern vaccines are approved.
But 40 million doses will not be available right now, CDC’s Dr Sarah Oliver told a meeting on Tuesday.
“We expect a restricted supply environment,” Oliver said.
Oliver said CDC expects to receive between $ 5 million and $ 10 million each week for the first few months as vaccine makers increase production.