U.S. panel charged to plan fair distribution of eventual COVID-19 vaccine

CDC and NIH officials have tasked a group of independent scientists and ethicists with forming guidelines to determine who should receive the first doses of a COVID-19 vaccine, once one becomes available.

CDC and NIH officials have tasked a group of independent scientists and ethicists with forming guidelines to determine who should receive the first doses of a COVID-19 vaccine, once one becomes available. At the group's first meeting, NIH Director Francis Collins, MD, said members will need to take into account the requirements of people who are at highest risk of COVID-19 complications, as well as health care workers, the military, individuals who work in essential industries, and places in the country where the virus is most active. He also said the group should consider prioritizing individuals who volunteered to test a vaccine and were given a placebo. The experts include members of the National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine and the National Academy of Medicine. The initial draft of the guidelines is due to be completed by the end of August, and will be open for public comment. CDC Director Robert Redfield, MD, instructed the panel to "make every effort to ensure not only that any vaccine is allocated in an equitable fashion, but also that the public actually sees that it's equitable, fair and transparent."