The coronavirus pandemic caused a global health crisis over the past months. The world is still struggling with new infections of Covid-19 every day. Meanwhile, some vaccines are in the late stages of the trial. This means that the coronavirus vaccine will soon be available in the market.
The manufacturing companies will start producing the batches of coronavirus vaccine after approval through clinical trials. However, there will be only limited doses of the vaccine available initially. The main question which arises is who will have the initial access to this vaccine.
The pandemic hit the US hardest and the cases are still increasing. The health experts are trying to identify the priority populations of the country. The experts suggest that the initial target should be health care workers and people who have a higher risk of infection. The high-risk group includes people of older age and those with underlying health conditions.
The government gathered a federal panel that includes national health experts and outsiders as well. This advisory panel presented the priority population groups to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC).
The experts are looking closely at the trials of two vaccines. These coronavirus vaccines are successful in the trials so far. They are in the later stage of the testing which includes 30,000 individuals.
The health officials are discussing the priority groups and who should get the vaccine first. The availability of the vaccine depends upon a successful clinical trial. If the coronavirus vaccine is proven effective, it will be available later this year.
The experts believe that this will be a controversial decision to make. The coronavirus largely affected the ethnic minorities of the US. The greater number of cases came forward from black and South Asian populations. Hence, the officials are considering if these ethnic groups should be the first to get the vaccine.
The experts also suggest that doctors and other health care professionals should get the vaccine against Covid-19 on a priority basis. However, the question arises if the other staff at the hospital should also be included in the priority group.
Francis Collins who is the director of the National Institutes of Health discussed the formation of priority groups. He said that this process will be highly controversial and everyone will not agree to it. He also said that everyone cannot have the priority to get the vaccine first. The authorities will only select some populations that have a greater risk of infection.
The advisory panel of the federal group provided an overview of the priority groups they considered. This includes approximately 12 million health care professionals who are the top priority of the experts. They will receive the first batch of the coronavirus vaccine. The high-risk group includes the medical staff, the staff of national security, and the essential workers during the pandemic.
The members of the Advisory Committee on Immunization Practices discussed the vaccine priority groups previously. They discussed if pregnant women and children should have the initial access to the vaccine. They also talked about the priority groups based on ethnicity and race of the public.
The priority of the authorities can change in the future depending upon the higher risk of a specific population. However, the experts are currently focused on the development of an effective vaccine against the virus.