Will essential workers get earlier access to COVID vaccines?

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Americans are anxiously awaiting for final approval on a COVID-19 vaccine.

While the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) is set to meet on December 10th to discuss Pfizer’s request for emergency use authorization for its vaccine, it is still unclear who will be among the first to get the vaccinations.

According to StatNews, essential workers are expected to receive vaccinations ahead of adults over 65 years of age and those with pre-existing conditions.

The Advisory Committee on Immunization Practices (ACIP), a panel of experts that makes vaccine recommendations to the CDC, stressed that essential workers, who provide basic goods and services and are disproportionately people of color, should be prioritized.

“These essential workers are out there putting themselves at risk to allow the rest of us to socially distance. And they come from disadvantaged situations, they come from disadvantaged communities,” said Beth Bell, an ACIP member and global health expert from the University of Washington.

Per CNET, it’s expected that health care workers on the front lines of the pandemic will be among the first to get the vaccine, along with those in long-term health facilities at high risk of severe disease.

If the ACIP recommendations are followed, essential workers would be next in line, with adults over the age of 65 next.

The remainder of the country will most likely have to wait a bit longer to get vaccinated.

Earlier this month, Dr. Anthony Fauci told ABC News he expected “the ordinary citizen” would probably be able to receive the vaccine between April to June 2021.

The exact rollout of who gets the vaccine first will be determined after one  receives final approval by the FDA.

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