It is becoming increasingly clear that the availability of a vaccine effective in preventing COVID-19 infections is going to be a reality in the near future. However, once the first vaccine has been approved by the FDA for emergency use authorization and the first doses are available, who is going to get the first shots?
During an interview with Andrea Mitchell of MSNBC, Dr. Anthony Fauci, the nation's leading infectious disease expert and Director of the National Institutes of Health, revealed who will be first line for the COVID-19 vaccine. Read on, and to ensure your health and the health of others, don't miss these Sure Signs You've Already Had Coronavirus.
Dr. Fauci Said the "Highest Priority" People Get it in December
"By the time we get into December, we'll be able to have doses available for people who are judged to be at the highest priority," Fauci revealed. In another interview with PBS, Fauci revealed that those "higher priority groups" would be determined "according to the recommendation of the CDC."
Per the CDC in addition to age, there are a number of underlying medical conditions that would deem an adult of any age to be at an increased risk for severe illness from the virus that causes COVID-19. These include cancer, chronic kidney disease, COPD (chronic obstructive pulmonary disease), heart conditions, such as heart failure, coronary artery disease, or cardiomyopathies, immunocompromised state (weakened immune system) from solid organ transplant, obesity (body mass index [BMI] of 30 kg/m2 or higher but < 40 kg/m2), severe obesity (BMI ≥ 40 kg/m2), pregnancy, sickle cell disease, smoking, and type 2 diabetes mellitus.
According to the AP, an expert panel advising the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention is also considering giving high priority to workers in essential industries.
"Once a vaccine gets a green light from the Food and Drug Administration, the panel will look at clinical trial data on side effects and how people of various ages, ethnicities and health statuses responded. That will determine the panel's recommendations to the CDC on how to prioritize shots," they explain.
Dr. Fauci Says We Can All Get the Vaccine by April or May
Fauci is hopeful that "by the time you get into the middle, towards the end of the first quarter of 2021, you will have accounted for and vaccinated those who are in the higher priority groups." Then, by April or early May, the vaccine will be more readily available to the general public. Until then, to ensure your health and the health of others, don't miss these 35 Places You're Most Likely to Catch Coronavirus.