Great Britain

CDC advisers voting to decide who gets Covid vaccine first

Scientists and public health experts with the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) will vote on Tuesday to decide who will be first people to get a coronavirus vaccine, once one is granted emergency authorisation.

The CDC’s Advisory Committee for Immunization Practices has scheduled an emergency meeting to discuss allocation of Covid-19 vaccines, according to a document obtained by CNN.

It is expected that they will decide healthcare workers will be in the first group, along with those most at risk, such as nursing home residents.

Members of the committee will discuss who should be in the first group, and clinical considerations for the group.

The advisers will also discuss how to monitor safety after allocation of the vaccine, according to the document.

Several vaccines - among them ones made by Pfizer and Moderna - have shown encouraging rates of effectiveness in clinical trials.

They are currently awaiting approval by the Food and Drug Administration (FDA). 

Donald Trump said on Thursday that delivery of the coronavirus vaccine would begin next week and the week after.

Speaking to US troops overseas via video link to mark the Thanksgiving holiday, Mr Trump said the vaccine would initially be send to front-line workers, medical personnel and senior citizens.

States were told their allocation of the Pfizer vaccine last week said Gustave Perna, chief operating officer of Operation Warp Speed - the US government’s programme to distribute and administer any vaccine.

He said that individual states were given an estimate of how much they could expect to receive of the 4.1 million initial doses being readied, for when the green light comes.

Training by Pfizer scientists has begun in Rhode Island, New Mexico, Texas and Tennessee to train public health officials in the state on how to handle the vaccine. 

Pfizer’s vaccine must be kept at extremely cold temperatures, which adds to the complications of the mass-vaccination programme.

It is hoped that vaccination can begin before Christmas, with the general population likely to receive their doses around April.

There have been 13 million confirmed cases in the US, and almost 265,000 deaths.

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