After health care workers, who’s next in line to get the COVID-19 vaccines?

Medical Watch

Now that COVID-19 vaccines have arrived and the first inoculations are underway, who’s next?

Healthcare workers and residents in long-term facilities will get vaccinations in this first batch. Then the next target recipient needs to be people considered spreaders: those living in environments where they cannot practice social distancing, like prisons and military barracks. Then certain communities and essential workers.

The Centers for Disease Control has a vaccine rollout plan. After phase one, which includes frontline healthcare workers and long-term care facilities, essential workers are next in line. That includes those in the education sector, food and agriculture, utilities, police, firefighters, corrections officers and transportation workers. Then adults with high-risk medical conditions like diabetes and heart problems.

Phase 1-A:
Health care personnel
Long-term care facilities

Phase 1-B:
Essential workers such as those in the Education Sector, Food & Agriculture, Utilities, Police, Firefighters, Corrections Officers, and Transportation

Phase 1-C:
Adults with high-risk medical conditions; Adults 65+

Dr Lori Post is a professor of emergency medicine at Northwestern Medicine.

“I believe we have to look at populations that are not able to social isolate and mask,” she said. “And we have to look at populations that don’t have other options.”

Post said that includes prisoners.

“The rate of COVID inside some prisons, or some sections within prisons, would be about 650 percent of the general populations. And while those prisoners are not out spreading it in the community, the prison guards are and they are at high risk as well,” she said. “Jails and prison inmates, they have been sentenced or they are kept while they are waiting for trial doesn’t mean they deserve a COVID death sentence and neither do their guards.”

WGN News will keep you updated on how to sign up and when more vaccines will be available. While today is a celebration with the initial shots arriving, the number is far inadequate to meet the needs even of those on the list for the first vaccines.

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