Members of the "Media" were included among "essential workers" who should receive prioritized vaccines after long-term care patients and frontline health care workers in recommendations released by the Center for Disease Control’s Advisory Committee on Immunization Practices. Media staffers would be included as part of Phase 1c.
Paul Boyle, senior vice president / public policy with the News Media Alliance, said newspaper production personnel "would arguably be included in Phase 1b."
ACIP breaks down the two groups as follows:
Phase 1b Group (49 million people). This group includes police, firefighters, teachers and school personnel; food and agriculture workers; manufacturing workers; corrections workers; U.S. Postal Service workers; public transit and grocery store workers. This group also includes 19 million seniors 75 years old or older.
Phase 1c Group (129 million people). This group includes the remaining seniors, 65-74 (28 million people), and other “essential workers” (20 million people) in Transportation and Logistics, Food Service, Shelter & Housing (including construction), Finance, IT & Communication, Energy, Media, Legal, Public Safety (Engineers), Water & Wastewater. This group also includes people between the ages of 16-64 with high-risk conditions (81 million people).
Boyle said, "The ACIP panel recommendations are non-binding and state governments will have the flexibility to prioritize decisions locally. However, as was the case with federal government’s Critical Infrastructure guidance, we believe that most states are likely to follow the ACIP recommendations, and move through the various phases depending upon the availability of the vaccine and public health facts on the ground."
View some relevant slides from the ACIP discussion for further details:
Phased Allocation of COVID-19 Vaccines — ACIP COVID-19 Vaccines Work Group, Kathleen Dooling, MD, MPH, ACIP meeting, December 20
Considerations for Populations Included in Phase 1b and 1c — ACIP COVID-19 Vaccines, Sara Oliver MD, MSPH, ACIP Meeting, December 20