Health Care & Wellness
Who To Vaccinate Next? States Deciding Which Groups Get Priority
February 4, 2021 | Bill Kramer
The federal government began to send weekly shipments of the COVID-19 vaccines to the states in December based on population. But after that, each state must decide how to distribute its own allotment of vaccinations to its residents. States are moving past the initial phase of their COVID-19 vaccination plans, which means they must decide whether to prioritize older populations or essential workers next. As states strive for fairness and equality in distribution, they’ve created complicated rules and penalties that have slowed down the distribution of the vaccine in many places. But states are working to balance speed and fairness by narrowly defining broad groups that are eligible for vaccination. According to MultiState’s tracking of state vaccination rollouts, all 50 states are now vaccinating by age group (up from only 37 states two weeks ago), while only 23 states are currently vaccinating a subset of essential workers beyond health care, long-term care, and first responders.