Recently, a number of trials testing out different formulas for coronavirus vaccination have reported positive results. With companies filing for approval from the U.S. Food and Drug Administration, the Centre for Disease Control and Prevention has made its priority list. More specifically, the CDC’s coronavirus vaccine distribution program is said to focus primarily on front line health care workers initially as there will only be a limited number of vaccines available.
With the passage of time, companies are likely to manufacture more vaccinations so that they can be provided to the general population. However, the first few batches are likely to be reserved for nursing home residents, doctors, and other people who work in the health care.
The recommendation of prioritizing health care workers came from an independent vaccine advisory committee in the CDC. According to one of the members of the committee, Dr. Katherine A. Poehling, who is also a pediatrician, the decision of giving phase 1a of vaccines to those who work in hospitals and medical facilities is becauseof their high risk of exposure.
Since the beginning of the coronavirus pandemic, front line health care workers have been working for excessive hours and have had the highest risk of contracting the virus and even taking it to their families at their homes.
During the past eight months, many doctors, nurses, and other workers have also lost their lives or developed severe complications associated with the coronavirus infection as a result. Even now, the vast majority of the population and workers remain at risk of having the infection.
Statistically, around 244,000 workers have tested positive for the coronavirus and over eight hundred have lost their lives to the infection. Although these figures were reported by the CDC, the health agency also later stated that the actual numbers of infection and deaths may be much higher.
On the other hand, that National Nurses United reported the actual number of health care workers that have died due to the coronavirus infection may be over one thousand and seven hundred.
The high mortality and transmission rates in the workers are the reason why need to get a coronavirus vaccination before all others. In addition, some states in the US can also simply not afford to lose more workers to the infection due to shortage of staff.
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Ever since coronavirus outbreaks have increased in the second wave, hospitals and medical facilities are running out of space to accomodate new patients are also unable to manage properly due to lack of workers. More deaths would mean that the shortage would worsen.
The first batch of the vaccines would then be reserved for health care workers followed by high risk groups such as older adults. At the moment, the former is a bigger concern because even the first batch may not be enough to vaccinate all of healthcare workers.
In the upcoming few days, tough and difficult decisions are likely to be made by health agencies in prioritization in CDC’s coronavirus vaccine distribution program. After that, there are plans to make vaccinations common in the general public by the summer of next year.