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(c) 2021 Jon L Gelman, All Rights Reserved.

Pandemic Preparedness Experts

Pandemic Preparedness Experts
COVID Safe Workplaces

Wednesday, November 25, 2020

CDC Likely to Allocate COVID-19 Vaccine to Essential Workers Ahead of Seniors

Who gets the COVID-19 vaccine first was the subject of a meeting this week of the Centers for Disease Control’s [CDC] Advisory Committees on Immunization Practices [ACIP]. While a final determination has yet been made, it appears that the initial vaccine allocation will prioritize essential workers.

The allocation will impact the workers’ compensation programs, especially in jurisdiction, like New Jersey, where essential workers, are presumpted to have contracted coronavirus at work.


Dr. Robert Redfield (CDC Director) delivered the opening remarks. Dr. José R. Romero (ACIP Chair) then announced the publication of The Advisory Committee on Immunization Practices’ Ethical Principles for Allocating Initial Supplies of COVID-19 Vaccine — United States, 2020 in the Morbidity and Mortality Weekly Report (MMWR).


Dr. Beth Bell (ACIP WG Chair) opened the COVID-19 Vaccines session. Dr. Bell reviewed the COVID-19 vaccines currently under development and provided information on the vaccines in phase I/II or phase III clinical trials in the United States. The available phase III clinical trial results for the two mRNA vaccines from Pfizer/BioNTech and Moderna were summarized.


Dr. Sara Oliver (CDC ACIP WG Co-Lead) presented the “EtR Framework: Public Health Problem, Resource Use and Equity Domains.” The ACIP’s Evidence to Recommendations (EtR) framework uses an explicit and transparent method for assessing the quality of the evidence related to benefits and harms as well as consideration of additional factors (“domains”) when considering a recommendation. The first presentation of the afternoon focused on three of the EtR domains, ‘Public Health Problem,’ ‘Resource Use,’ and ‘Equity.’ The information presented focused on the current evidence and Work Group discussions to date. Areas where EtR domain judgements would vary by individual vaccine characteristics were highlighted.


Dr. Kathleen Dooling (CDC ACIP WG Co-Lead) then presented the ‘Phased Allocation of COVID-19 Vaccines.’ The objective of this session was to help ACIP select the groups for COVID-19 vaccine allocation in Phase 1a, Phase 1b, and Phase 1c.


A summary of the Work Group’s considerations and the data considered for each population were presented. 


The proposed interim Phase 1 sequence that was presented for discussion was as follows:


  1. Phase 1a
    1. Health care providers
    2. Long term care facility residents
  2. Phase 1b
    1. Essential workers (Education sector, food and agriculture, utilities, police, firefighters, corrections officers, transportation)
      1. Racial and ethnic minority groups are disproportionally represented in many essential industries and live in communities that are disproportionally affected; offers an opportunity to really impact equity.
      2. By nature of their jobs, many essential workers are at increased risk and should be given the opportunity to be vaccinated early on.
  3. Phase 1c
    1. Adults with high-risk medical conditions
    2. Adults 65+


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Jon L. Gelman of Wayne NJ is the author of NJ Workers’ Compensation Law (West-Thomson-Reuters) and co-author of the national treatise, Modern Workers’ Compensation Law (West-Thomson-Reuters). For over 4 decades the Law Offices of Jon L Gelman  1.973.696.7900  jon@gelmans.com  has been representing injured workers and their families who have suffered occupational accidents and illnesses.

Blog: Workers ' Compensation

Twitter: jongelman

LinkedIn: JonGelman

LinkedIn Group: Injured Workers Law & Advocacy Group

Author: "Workers' Compensation Law" West-Thomson-Reuters