Reaction to CDC’s COVID-19 vaccine recommendations

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EYEWITNESS NEWS (WBRE/WYOU) — An advisory committee for the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention is recommending that when a vaccine is approved, it should first be made available to healthcare workers and nursing home staff and patients.

It is a recommendation that most say is really a no-brainer. Some describe nursing homes as the epic-center of the COVID-19 pandemic.

With COVID-19 deaths on the rise in nursing homes and long-term care facilities across the nation and here in Pennsylvania, it comes as no surprise that the CDC is expected to approve the recommendation of an advisory committee that the vaccines should go first to healthcare workers — and specifically nursing homes.

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 need to ensure that the state take that recommendation and utilizes that framework here for long term care providers in Pennsylvania,” Shamberg said.

Congressman Matt Cartwright says the recommendation should not even be discussed by the higher-ups at the CDC. It should be accepted sooner rather than later.

“That just makes sense, they’re the ones in harm’s way. We need to take care of them so they can take care of us,” Cartwright said.

Congressman Dan Meuser tells Eyewitness News, he has seen the government’s plan for distribution of a vaccine.

“I like what I see so far with funding’s coming through for the distribution plan for the vaccine. It seems like it makes a lot of sense. It will be accelerated to those who receive it. First are very much frontline workers particularly nursing homes,” Meuser said.

The states have the final say as to who gets the vaccines first.

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