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Debate begins for who's first in line for COVID-19 vaccine

Virus Outbreak Rationing Vaccines
Posted at 9:05 AM, Aug 02, 2020
and last updated 2020-08-02 09:05:28-04

Who will be first in line for a COVID-19 vaccine?

U.S. health authorities hope by late next month to have some draft guidance on how to ration initial doses, but it’s a vexing decision.

National Institutes of Health Director Francis Collins says not everybody's going to like the answer.

Two government advisory groups are debating priorities. They're expected to include certain health workers and other essential workers, but who's most essential?

Also a priority are those most vulnerable to infection like older adults — but vaccines don't always work in the elderly as well as in the young.

COVID-19 Precautions

Most patients with COVID-19 have mild to moderate symptoms. However, in a small proportion of patients, COVID-19 can lead to more severe illness, including death, particularly among those who are older or those who have chronic medical conditions.

COVID-19 spreads primarily through respiratory droplets produced when an infected person coughs or sneezes.

Symptoms include fever, cough, and difficulty breathing. Symptoms appear within 14 days of being exposed to an infectious person.

Virginia health officials urged the following precautions:

  • Wash your hands often with soap and water for at least 20 seconds.
  • Use an alcohol-based hand sanitizer only if soap and water are not available.
  • Avoid touching your eyes, nose, and mouth.Cover your mouth and nose with a tissue or your sleeve (not your hands) when coughing or sneezing.
  • Clean and disinfect frequently touched objects and surfaces.
  • Stay home when you are sick.
  • Avoid contact with sick people.
  • Avoid non-essential travel.