The federal Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) has released recommendations for who should be next in line to get the coronavirus vaccine, after the first group of healthcare workers nursing home residents are vaccinated.
On Sunday, the Advisory Committee on Immunization Practices gave clarity on which people fit into Phase 1b and 1c, selecting groups with either a higher risk of exposure or with a higher chance for a negative outcome if they were to get the virus.
Phase 1b could start in January and include “frontline essential workers” and people who are 75 and older.
Those frontline workers include some 30 million people, including first responders such as firefighters and police, educators, including teachers, support staff and daycare workers, those who work in food and agriculture, manufacturing, corrections workers, U.S. Postal Service workers, public transit workers and grocery workers, the panel said.
Phase 1c, which could start in February, would include those between the ages of 16 and 64 with high-risk conditions and other adults aged 65 to 75.
It would also include 57 million of what it calls “other essential workers,” which include those who work in transportation and logistics, food service, construction, IT and communication, energy, media, legal, and waste.
The panel said some 110 million people fall under the category of high risk because of pre-existing conditions, such as diabetes, asthma and those who are immunocompromised.
The recommendations mirror the state’s plan for vaccine distribution as outlined in a 182-page report to the CDC.
HOW WILL ROLLOUTS WORK?
The CDC panel didn’t give a concrete timetable on when these groups will be vaccinated because it will be up to the states to coordinate the massive vaccine efforts.
Those will be at the Meadowlands Complex in East Rutherford, Rockaway Townsquare in Morris County, the New Jersey Convention and Exposition Center in Edison in Middlesex County, the Moorestown Mall in Burlington County, Rowan College of South Jersey in Gloucester County and the Atlantic City Convention Center in Atlantic County.
The mega-sites will serve as “vaccination hubs,” said state Health Commissioner Judy Persichilli, noting the state hopes to vaccinate 2,400 people a day at each location. The sites are expected to open in mid-January, still serving the Phase 1a population.
CVS and Walgreens will also be administering doses, as will hospitals, urgent care facilities and other health care providers.
The state has not yet said how appointments at these locations will be made.
Last week, New Jersey learned it would be getting 20% fewer doses of the Pfizer and Moderna vaccines than the federal government initially said.
On Saturday, Gen. Gustave Perna, an Army general in charge of COVID-19 vaccines, apologized for “miscommunication” with states on the number of early doses delivered.
On Monday, Murphy said New Jersey should receive about 500,000 doses of coronavirus vaccines in the next month.
The state hopes to vaccinate 70% of its adult population over the next six months.