By Julie Steenhuysen and Manojna Maddipatla
CHICAGO (Reuters) – A panel of advisers to the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) on Tuesday voted 13-to-1 to recommend that healthcare workers and residents of long-term care facilities should be first in line to receive initial doses of COVID-19 vaccines when they become available.
The vote occurred at an emergency meeting of the Advisory Committee on Immunization Practices (ACIP), which has been meeting for months to study and recommend who in the United States should get the first scarce doses of a COVID-19 vaccine.
There are an estimated 21 million healthcare workers and an additional 3 million nursing home residents in the United States.
Although panel members universally endorsed the recommendation to include frontline healthcare workers in the initial allocation,