CDC recommendations on who should get COVID-19 vaccination first may change plans in Pennsylvania

Coronavirus in Pennsylvania

MANHEIM TOWNSHIP, Pa (WHTM) — The Centers for Disease Control is recommending that healthcare workers, and nursing home staff, and residents get the COVID-19 vaccination first when it’s approved.

Jennifer Grube, the infection preventionist at Brethren Village in Lancaster County, said it could be just after Christmas when they start vaccinating residents.

“I feel like we can finally look towards the future and feel like we can get this under control and get this out,” Grube said.

With COVID-19 deaths on the rise in nursing homes and long-term care facilities it comes as little surprise the CDC is suggesting that healthcare workers and long-term care facilities get the vaccine first.

“The long-term care facilities and the elderly have definitely been disproportionately effected by COVID-19,” Grube said.

The recommendation from the CDC could impact what happens in Pennsylvania.

Previously Pennsylvania Health Secretary Dr. Rachel Levine said essential workers and everyone over 65-years-old would also be among the first to get the vaccine.

On Thursday in an email to ABC27 News, a spokesperson with Pennsylvania Health Department said the state would be willing to adapt to CDC recommendations.

Zach Shamberg is president and CEO of the Pennsylvania Healthcare Association. It represents more than 400 nursing homes and long-term care facilities in the commonwealth.

“We are strongly urging the department of health and secretary, Dr. Levine, to apply the framework that was outlined by the CDC to adopt its recommendations and ultimately to prioritize its most vulnerable residents,” Shamberg said.

Ultimately it will be up to the state who will get the vaccine first.

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