Deciding Who Should Be Vaccinated First

January 11, 2021

(The New Yorker) – Last month, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s Advisory Committee on Immunization Practices (A.C.I.P.) recommended that COVID-19 vaccines be given first to frontline health-care workers and adults over the age of seventy-five. Earlier in the month, A.C.I.P. had released preliminary recommendations and suggested that it would place the greatest emphasis on protecting frontline workers, in part because those workers are disproportionately members of hard-hit communities of color. But the new recommendations bring the C.D.C. more in line with Canada and the majority of European countries, which have released plans focussing on older people, and which most public health officials believe are likely to save the most lives. I recently spoke by phone with Barry Bloom, an immunologist and professor at the Harvard T. H. Chan School of Public Health.