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Coronavirus: ACP supports ethical distribution of COVID-19 and other vaccines


The organization is recommending a framework to ensure ethical allocations of much-needed vaccines during the pandemic.

The American College of Physicians (ACP) is putting its weight behind a framework for ethical and phased allocation of much-needed vaccines in the battle against the COVID-19 coronavirus pandemic.

According to a news release, the ACP has released a new policy statement outlining the framework and says that the allocation of the vaccine must put a premium on saving those most likely to become severely ill or die without it. Mitigating health inequalities is a moral imperative of an equitable vaccine allocation framework.

The framework, as laid out in the release, is as follows:

Phase 1a

  • High-risk health care workers in direct patient care, including trainees and workers in nursing homes, home health care and health care facility services
  • First responders

Phase 1b

  • Persons (all ages) with 2 or more underlying health conditions (as listed by CDC) putting them at significantly higher risk of severe illness or death from COVID-19
  • Older adults and individuals with disabilities of all ages living in congregate settings such as skilled nursing and long-term care facilities, prisons and group homes, and in multi-generational households
  • If availability of vaccine allows for it, individuals age 65 and older not already included

Phase 2

  • K-12 teachers and school staff; child care workers
  • Other critical workers in high-risk settings such as public transit and food supply
  • Persons (all ages) with 1 underlying health condition (as listed by CDC) putting them at moderately higher risk
  • Persons and staff in homeless shelters, group homes, prisons, jails and detention centers not included in Phase 1
  • All individuals age 65 and older not in Phase 1
  • If availability of vaccine allows for it, family caregivers of those age 65 and older

Phase 3

  • Young adults
  • Children
  • Critical workers at increased risk of exposure not included in Phases 1 and 2

Phase 4

  • All other individuals living in the US
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