The director of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention warns Americans to remain vigilant against the coronavirus as the third vaccine is released. (1

st March)

AP Internal

Many countries give priority to COVID-19 vaccines for people over 75, then move to those over 65, but they should not continue to withdraw by age, an advisory committee to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention said on Monday. .

The approach is inherently unfair to minorities, committee members said, because they have a lower life expectancy and because blacks die from COVID-19 at a younger age than white Americans – even in their 30s, 40s and 50s. years.

“I do not support any part of the eligibility category for people under 65,” he said Dr. Jose Romero, a specialist in pediatric infectious diseases at the University of Arkansas for medical sciences at Little Rock and chairman of the Advisory Committee on Immunization Practices.

The committee disagreed with plans in some states to require people to provide evidence that they have two medical conditions on a pre-determined list before they are allowed to be vaccinated.

People with two well-controlled health conditions may be at lower risk of severe COVID-19 than those with an uncontrolled condition or a less common disease that was not common enough to make the list. .

For example, although type 2 diabetes is considered the highest risk condition, type 1 is not always the case, although people with this rarer, autoimmune version are at the same risk, noted Dr. Catherine Poelling, Professor of Pediatrics at Wake Forest Medical School in Winston-Salem, North Carolina.

Yes, there will be some people who lie about their medical conditions, he admitted Dr. Helen Talbot, an infectious disease specialist at Vanderbilt University Medical Center in Nashville, Tennessee. “There is always someone who finds a way to cheat.”

But it’s better to let a few scammers go than to deny a vaccine to people who really need it, she said.

The other category of people who should be given priority, committee members said, are those who care for others who may not be able to be vaccinated.

Dr. Grace Lee, a professor of pediatric infectious diseases at Lucile Packard Children’s Hospital and Stanford University School of Medicine in Stanford, California, cites parents of children who have received stem cell transplants.

“The ability to protect these people in the absence of a high-risk medical condition, I think, is important in itself, in part because we can’t vaccinate young children at the moment,” she said.

Each country is making its own vaccine distribution plan, so there are many mixed reports about who should be prioritized over the next few months, as vaccine supply remains limited, committee members said.

For this reason, committee members said that the Johnson & Johnson vaccine allowed over the weekend should be added to the overall set of available vaccines, rather than targeted at any particular group or population.

They reiterated their commitment to the equitable distribution of vaccines, although they are being distributed to as many people as possible.

“I feel very challenging to ensure that we continue to maintain justice as the focus of the COVID-19 vaccination program,” Lee said.

Many vaccine distribution centers are so worried that they will get the right people that they refuse too much, she continued.

“Since our intention is to vaccinate everyone anyway, except in the harshest situations, whether I’m getting high risk A versus B correctly, I think it’s less important than just making sure we provide access. I said.

About 50 million Americans have received at least one dose of the COVID-19 vaccine. Fromby the end of this month, Pfizer-BioNTech will provide a total of 120 million doses of its vaccine, enough to vaccinate 60 million people; Moderna will provide 100 million doses to vaccinate 50 million people; and J&J will provide 20 million doses of its single vaccine. That’s enough to cover more than half of the 210 million adults in the United States.

At its second four-hour meeting of two days, the committee considered whether to extend the recommended period between the two doses of Pfizer-BioNTech or Moderna vaccines.

Some speculated that the delay would allow more vaccines to be distributed, but committee members said they did not think there was enough evidence to justify delaying the second dose of the two vaccines.

There have been more mixed opinions on whether people who have symptomatic COVID-19 will need both doses of the two-dose vaccines.

Basic immunology suggests that the disease will act as a base dose and the first shot will act as a booster, Talbot said. “I don’t need more data. We’ve all taken immunology,” she said.

Others have questioned whether the risks of vaccination for people who have had COVID-19 will outweigh the benefits, especially with a second shot. CDC officials said there was not enough information to answer the question.

Implementing such a policy would be a challenge because it is not clear how long the protection lasts and how ill someone must be in order to develop adequate natural protection.

Contact Karen Weintraub at kweintraub @ usatoday.

Patient health and safety coverage at USA TODAY is made possible in part by a grant from the Masimo Foundation for Healthcare Ethics, Innovation and Competition. The Masimo Foundation does not provide editorial data.

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