Many disputes over prioritization will play out in the fine print of government plans. Is a hospital janitor more at risk than a suburban pediatrician? Is a truck driver’s super-spreading danger a greater priority than the risk faced by a 50-year old with diabetes? While federal and state officials agree that the nation’s 21 million health care workers should be first in line for the vaccine, there is no consensus about how to balance the needs of other high-risk groups.
Government officials say it will be April before most people could get vaccinated. A government Advisory Committee on Immunization Practices (ACIP) is prepared to issue its prioritization guidance Dec. 10. But HHS Secretary Alex Azar said this week the federal government won’t wait for ACIP recommendations if a vaccine is authorized before then. Azar said states will have the “final say” in prioritizing Covid vaccinations.
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