New guidance published by the U.S. Centers for Disease Control (CDC) suggests that some Americans may get first access to a COVID-19 vaccine once one becomes available to the public. Among those first in line could be commercial truck drivers.
The Advisory Committee on Immunization Practices (ACIP) is made up of medical and public health experts who make recommendations to the CDC on how and when vaccines should be used. In normal times, the 15 members who sit on the committee meet only three times a year. Since the COVID-19 pandemic however, ACIP has been meeting – virtually – about once a week.
The meetings are all open to the public via webcast. People can even submit a request to make a public comment. You can register for the next ACIP meeting on their website.
Current ACIP thinking is that the COVID-19 vaccine should be distributed to certain populations first. Those groups are healthcare personnel, workers who are part of America’s critical infrastructure, people with certain underlying medical conditions which make them more at risk for severe COVID-19 illness, and the elderly.
Who is and is not considered an ‘essential worker’ is determined by the Cybersecurity & Infrastructure Security Agency. Commercial truck drivers are considered to be a critical part of America’s infrastructure.
According to a press release from ACIP, the committee will wait until the FDA approves a COVID-19 vaccine and then “quickly hold a public meeting to review all available data about that vaccine.” Using that data, they will then create recommendations to pass to the CDC for which groups of people should have priority.
Both the Pfizer and Moderna vaccines say that their vaccines have been shown to have close to 95% efficacy. A third vaccine from AstraZeneca is said to be between 70% and 90% effective depending on dosage.