| Covid-19 | Oct 6, 2020

The Academies Issue Final Report on Equitable Allocation of COVID-19 Vaccine

The National Academies National Academies of the Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine (NASEM) published “A Framework for Equitable Allocation of COVID-19 Vaccine”. The 236-page report, which was commissioned by the National Institutes of Health (NIH) and Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), builds on the shorter “discussion draft” that NASEM released in early September . Four risk-based criteria informed NASEM’s recommendations for how to prioritize vaccine allocation across populations: (1) risk of acquiring infection, (2) risk of severe morbidity and mortality, (3) risk of negative societal impact, and (4) risk of transmitting infection to others. Based on these criteria, NASEM recommends the followed phased approach for vaccine allocation (which closely resembles the phases outlined in the discussion draft):

– Phase 1a (representing an estimated 5% of total U.S. population): First responders, as well as high-risk health workers involved in direct patient care and facility services (e.g., transportation or environmental services).

– Phase 1b (est. 10% of U.S. population): People with two or more health conditions that put them at significant risk of severe illness or death from COVID-19 (per CDC guidelines), as well as older adults living in nursing homes and other congregate settings.

– Phase 2 (est. 30–35% of U.S. population): K–12 teachers, school staff, and child care workers; critical workers in high-risk settings who cannot avoid a high risk of exposure to COVID-19 (e.g., workers in the food supply system or public transit); all older adults not included in Phase 1; people health conditions that put them at moderately higher risk of severe COVID 19 consequences (per CDC guidelines); and people in homeless shelters, group homes for individuals with physical or mental disabilities, incarcerated individuals and detention staff (if not already included in Phase 1).

– Phase 3 (est. 40–45% of U.S. population): Children and young adults under age 30, as well as any essential workers at increased risk of exposure who are not covered in Phases 1 and 2.

– Phase 4: Everyone living in the United States. Individuals who do not fall into the preceding phases include adults between the ages of 30 and 65 who do not work in essential occupations or industries.