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COVID-19 Vaccine Priorities from NASEM

The National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine have made recommendations to the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services about who should get priority for SARS-CoV-2 vaccines when they become available. (NASEM’s recommendations are usually followed.) You can buy a copy of this detailed document for $70 at the link below. These are the proposed phases of rollout as recommended by NASEM:

  • Phase   1a: High-risk healthcare workers and first responders (estimated 5% of the population)
  • Phase 1b: People with two or more comorbid conditions that put them at significantly increased risk (e.g., obesity, cancer, serious cardiac conditions), in addition to older adults living in congregate or overcrowded settings (10% of population)
  • Phase 2: Teachers, school staff, and daycare workers; critical workers in high-risk settings; people with comorbidities that put them at moderately elevated risk; people in homeless shelters or in group homes for those with disabilities or staff at these facilities; people in prison or detention facilities and their staff; and older adults not previously vaccinated (30–35% of population)
  • Phase 3: Young adults, children, essential workers who are at increased risk and weren't included in phases 1 or 2 (40–45%)
  • Phase 4: Everyone else

In each group, NASEM recommends that vaccine access be prioritized based on geographic areas that are experiencing more cases and are more socially vulnerable (for instance, urban settings should get priority over rural settings).


Tags: COVID-19