New information released by the World Health Organization (WHO) and the United States Centers for Control and Prevention of Disease (CDC) shows that future prioritization of a potential coronavirus vaccine could be hazardous.
When the discussion of priority groups came into the limelight on Thursday, coronavirus remains a challenge as studies show that pregnant women infected with the virus are at higher risk of hospitalization than women who are not pregnant. The study also cited racial differences between COVID-positive pregnant women, with Hispanic women having the highest infection rate at 46 percent.
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While pregnant women are usually the last to receive a new vaccine due to caution, reports suggest that they should be close to the proverbial line.
But the question remains: who would be shuffled down the board?
While Science Magazine reported on Friday that coronavirus disproportionate numbers of older people could put them at the top, they are often the weakest respondents to vaccines. Healthcare workers and key employees would likely also be at the forefront of the discussion. However, there are other factors to consider and around four billion doses would be required to vaccinate the world̵
At the end of June, the WHO presented its “Global Allocation Framework” to the member countries. They wrote that three groups – approximately two billion people – should receive priority vaccinations: healthcare workers, adults over 65, and adults with comorbidities.
This happened when a sub-group of the CDC’s Advisory Committee on Immunization Practices (ACIP) developed its own five-stage plan for the United States.
The first stage of the program includes 12 million “critical” healthcare workers and “other” workers, with the starting doses being given to “doctors at greatest risk for medical, national security and other important workers”.
The second and third stages would be distributed to 110 million other key workers or Americans over the age of 65, living in long-term care facilities, or suffering from conditions that could be fatal when combined with COVID-19 infection.
The rest of the “general population” would be given a vaccine in the final stages.
These plans raise even more questions for many who notice the vague categorization of humans and the disproportionate effects of the virus on color communities.
The ACIP is expected to meet again in August to discuss the issue, and WHO plans to complete the “allotment plans” by the end of the summer.
According to the Johns Hopkins Coronavirus Resource Center, there are now over 2.8 million confirmed COVID-19 cases and nearly 130,000 deaths in the United States.
Assuming that the ambitious deadline for introducing vaccinations remains until the end of the year, what was inaccessible would be scarce supply and demand.
On Thursday, Dr. Anthony Fauci of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases (NIAID) told the Journal of the American Medical Association that after months of experimental trials, vaccine candidates will enter late-stage clinical trials by the end of July.
“We can possibly know at least in early winter, in late winter, whether it is a safe and effective vaccine. [or] Early 2021, ”he said.
According to the Milken Institute, over a hundred vaccines are currently under development.
However, just two days earlier, Fauci had a terrible warning to the American public.
In a hearing from the Senate Committee on Health, Education, Work and Pensions on Tuesday, Fauci told Congress members that new cases in the US could exceed 100,000 new infections daily if the outbreak raged unchecked during reopening.
“I’m very concerned and not happy with what’s going on because we’re going in the wrong direction when you look at the curves of the new cases. So we really have to do something about it and we have to do it.” Do it quickly, “he said to the senators.
With the countries in the south and west experiencing a worrying increase in cases and hospitalization rates, which are now also affecting the country’s youth, many state and local politicians have been forced to close business again or cut back on plans to reopen.
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With the corona virus, many scientific decisions – such as prioritization – have been turned into ethical debates.
While challenge studies have been used to test vaccines for other diseases, there is no cure for COVID-19. NIAID has reportedly developed strains of virus that could infect participants.
Fox News’ Louis Casiano contributed to this report.