Who should be prioritized for COVID-19 vaccination?
Fiona M. Russell; Brian Greenwood
Published: November 2020
Journal: Human Vaccines & Immunotherapeutics
The development of COVID-19 vaccines is occurring at a rapid pace, with the potential for a vaccine to be available within 6 months. So who should be prioritized for vaccination when in the first instance, there will be insufficient supply to meet demand? There is no doubt that health-care workers in all settings should be vaccinated first, but who comes next will be a complex decision based on local epidemiology, societal values, and the ability of the vaccines to prevent both severe disease and to reduce transmission thereby eliciting herd protection. The decision on who to vaccinate should be equitable, highly contextualized, and based on the property of each vaccine. In some settings, the elderly may be prioritized, in others, it may be the population most likely to get infected and responsible for community spread. To support decision-making on who to be prioritized for vaccination requires urgent additional research on the epidemiology of COVID-19; preexisting immunity and who is responsible for transmission in a variety of settings; the safety, immunogenicity, and efficacy of COVID-19 vaccines in children and pregnant women; and determining whether COVID-19 vaccines prevent asymptomatic infection and transmission.