CDC calls emergency meeting to decide who gets Covid vaccine first

Justin Vallejo
·2-min read

The US Centres for Disease Control and Prevention will hold an emergency meeting to decide who gets the Covid-19 vaccine first.

The CDC’s Advisory Committee for Immunization Practices will vote on Tuesday on who should go to the top of the line once the vaccines are approved, according to CNN.

The group’s chair, Dr Jose Romero, told the outlet they were meeting ahead of states and other jurisdictions submitting their vaccine distribution plans to the US Food and Drug Administration and Operation Warp Speed by Friday.

"We foresee imminent authorization if this vaccine is shown to be effective and safe in the near future and we want to be at the point where we are providing appropriate guidance to the states and jurisdictions for the use of these vaccines," Mr Romero said.

The CDC’s advisory group is expected to vote for the priority groups they have previously identified, designated as 1a, for frontline health providers and support personnel, which could likely include nursing homes and aged-care facilities.

"This is not something that is being rushed. We have already discussed the groups within the first tier. We are simply going over the data once again and having a vote primarily on the first tier group 1a -- healthcare providers and the people in the long term, congregate facilities," Mr Romero said.

“It is important because these are the individuals that are really at the front line providing the care."

Pharmaceutical company Moderna announced on Monday that it planned to apply for emergency use authorization of its Covid-19 vaccine from both the US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) and the European Medicines Agency (EUA), saying it expects to have 20 million doses available by the end of 2020 and up to 1 billion in 2021.

Pfizer applied for emergency use authorization of its vaccine on 20 November, and the FDA is expected to meet in December to review both applications.

In announcing its submission to the FDA and EUA, Moderna said the latest results indicate the vaccine is 94.1 per cent effective against Covid-19 and 100 per cent effective against “severe cases”.

Dr Lindsey Baden, the co-principal investigator of the Covid-19 vaccine trial, said there were many more questions about the vaccine and that while the results were impressive, the data are small and they had to move forward with care.

“Those patients or participants who became sick with Covid, requiring hospitalization, supplemental oxygen, additional care, there were 30 such events. They all were in the placebo group, suggesting the vaccine can elicit an immune response that can protect against acquiring COVID that leads to clinical illness and more importantly to development of severe illness,” he told WBZ-TV.

“I’m hopeful over the next couple of weeks multiple bodies will independently review the data, provide their insights as to what it means and give us guidance as to how to roll this out to the community.”

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