CDC advisory group votes to prioritize essential workers next for COVID vaccine

Grocery store, meat packing plant workers and more potentially added to next phase of vaccinations

Boxes containing the Moderna COVID-19 vaccine are prepared to be shipped at the McKesson distribution center in Olive Branch on December 20, 2020 in Olive Branch, Mississippi. (Photo by Paul Sancya - Pool/Getty Images)
Boxes containing the Moderna COVID-19 vaccine are prepared to be shipped at the McKesson distribution center in Olive Branch on December 20, 2020 in Olive Branch, Mississippi. (Photo by Paul Sancya - Pool/Getty Images) (2020 Getty Images)

DETROITFrontline essential workers and people over 75 will be next to receive COVID-19 vaccines, according to a vote from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention advisory committee Sunday.

The CDC will make the final approval of the recommendation.

RELATED: CDC green-lights Moderna COVID vaccine, distribution begins

Currently, Phase 1B includes some workers in essential and critical industries, including workers with unique skill sets such as non-hospital or non-public health laboratories and mortuary services.

The vote recommends expanding Phase 1B to postal workers, teachers, day care staff, police officers, fire fighters, public transit workers and those who work in food supply, such as farmers and grocery store employees. The committee said the expansion of Phase 1B is to protect those who are most likely to be exposed to coronavirus.

The United Food and Commercial Workers International Union -- which represents more than 1 million food and retail workers, including more than 44,000 Michiganders -- applauded the recommended expansion.

Panel: People over 75, essential workers next for vaccines

The COVID-19 vaccine developed by Pfizer Inc. and Germany’s BioNTech already is being distributed, and regulators last week gave approval to the one from Moderna Inc. that began shipping Sunday.

Earlier this month, the Advisory Committee on Immunization Practices said health care workers and nursing home residents — about 24 million people — should be at the very front of the line for the vaccines.

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