The media, government, American public, and U.S. stock market have been enthused about recent reports of new, effective vaccines making their way through drug trials thanks in large part to Operation Warp Speed.
With a hoped-for vaccine available in the coming weeks, the question now becomes: Who gets it first?
According to a new report from CNN, the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention will be creating a list of who will be first in line next week — something that was supposed to be done months ago.
What's this now?
Last week, Pfizer announced that it had developed a vaccine that had a 90% effectiveness rate. Stocks soared on the news as the media and politicians from both parties — from President Donald Trump to former Vice President Joe Biden — hyped the apparent success.
Then on Friday, the Trump administration declared that 20 million Americans will get the new vaccine by the end of December. And another 25 million to 30 million vaccines would be available per month after that.
And on Monday, Moderna revealed it had created a vaccine that is reportedly 94.5% effective.
The company said it expects to have about 20 million doses of its vaccine available to the public by the end of the year, and another 500 million to 1 billion doses available globally in 2021.
With these tens of millions of vaccine doses allegedly set to be available in a matter of weeks for a U.S. population of 330 million, who will be deciding who gets the vaccine?
CNN reported Monday that the CDC will meet Monday, Nov. 23, to create a list of who gets to have the vaccine first and who has to wait.
"Members of the Advisory Committee on Immunization Practices," CNN said, "received notice last week that they'll meet Nov. 23 for five hours."
In that meeting, CDC officials will create their priority list, committee member Dr. William Schaffner, an infectious disease specialist at Vanderbilt University Medical Center, told CNN.
According to Schaffner, heath care workers and "essential workers" will be among the first to get the vaccine, followed by those considered "high risk," including people over 65 and those with underlying conditions.
"Health care workers are baked in — that's the first thing to happen, no doubt about that," he told the outlet.
So, which workers are considered "essential"?
That's something the CDC will get to decide, apparently.
What about "underlying conditions"? Which ones will merit a vaccination?
The CDC will get to decide that, too.
This list was something the CDC was expected to have decided months ago, CNN said, but it did not.