As we make our way through vaccinations of the first priority group and prepare for the next round, Americans are looking to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) recommendations for who’s up next. However, it seems some states may disregard the institute’s suggestions. While many were on board with the getting the vaccine to healthcare workers and those in long-term care facilities first, some states aren’t so sure about subsequent guidelines. To see which states have decided to change the order of the vaccine priority groups, read on, and for more vaccine news, discover The One Side Effect Dr. Fauci Is Worried About With His Next COVID Shot.
Once healthcare personnel and people in long-term care facilities are vaccinated, the CDC suggests moving on to essential workers and anyone over 75. Essential workers include teachers, police officers, emergency responders, firefighters, grocery store workers, transportation workers, and others whose jobs can’t be done from home. After those two groups, the CDC recommends that adults with high-risk medical conditions and anyone over 65 be vaccinated next.
However, these are just recommendations, and ultimately the order of vaccinations will be determined by each individual state, which will lead to some discrepancies over who will have access to the vaccine sooner. And for more up-to-date information, sign up for our daily newsletter.
The Texas Department of State Health Services (DSHS) announced on Dec. 21 that they’re choosing to ignore the CDC’s recommendations, according to The Week. Rather than vaccinating essential workers next, Texas will be inoculating anyone over the age of 65, those who are pregnant, and people with high-risk health conditions, including cancer, chronic kidney disease, heart disease, obesity, diabetes, and sickle cell disease.
“The next wave is going to be different by state,” Adm. Brett Giroir, assistant secretary for the Department of Health and Human Services, said during a Dec. 27 interview with Fox News Sunday. Giroir pointed out that Texas governor Greg Abbott planned to stray from the CDC’s recommendations to prioritize those over 65 next. “Because those are the people who go to the hospitals,” Giroir said. “It’s not the frontline 24-year-old worker who is at low risk of getting the infection and at very, very low risk of getting serious results from that, but over 65.” And to dispel some common misconceptions, Dr. Fauci Just Debunked the 4 Biggest Myths About the COVID Vaccine.
Texas isn’t the only state veering away from the CDC’s suggestions. According to Giroir, Florida governor Ron DeSantis is giving priority to anyone over 70 years old. Giroir said we should expect to see other states make similar decisions.
“I think that variability is critically important because as the hospitals fill up, the first priority really needs to be to save lives and to reduce the burden on hospitals,” said Giroir. “You’re seeing that in Texas and Florida, and you will probably see that in many other states.” And for more on the vaccine rollout, If You Did This in 2020, You Can Get Your COVID Vaccine Sooner.
According to the CDC recommendations, teachers are up next for vaccinations as essential workers, but Giroir disagrees with this order. “Young healthy teachers should be at no more risk than young healthy individuals in any other profession,” he said.
Giroir feels teachers should be moved “further down the priority scale because we need to take care of those who are vulnerable—who will die, who will be hospitalized—first.” And for more on how the vaccine will affect you, The CDC Is Warning You to Prepare For These COVID Vaccine Side Effects.