An expert panel that advises the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention recommended Sunday that adults aged 75 and older, as well as frontline essential workers, be designated as the second priority group to be vaccinated against Covid-19.
The Advisory Committee on Immunization Practices also voted to recommend that the third stage of the national vaccination program should focus on adults 65 to 74, people 16 to 64 years old with high-risk medical conditions, and essential workers not included in the second phase of vaccination.
The committee defined frontline essential workers as first responders, teachers and other education workers including day care workers, food and agriculture workers, correctional facility staff, postal workers, public transit workers, and people who work in manufacturing and in grocery stores.
The ACIP recommendations now go to CDC Director Robert Redfield, who must sign off on them in order for them to become CDC guidance. However, state and local health authorities make the final decisions on how to roll out vaccination in their locales.
The committee voted 13 to 1 to approve the groups to be included in Phase 1b and Phase 1c of the vaccination program. Phase 1a, which is currently ongoing, gives top priority to health care workers and residents and staff of nursing homes.
This story will be updated.