Delaware Public Health has finalized a recommended plan for the next phase of its COVID-19 vaccination program. Phase 1-B, as it will be known, will seek to vaccinate people age 65 and older as well as frontline essential workers.
Such workers could include first responders, educators and school staff, and people who work in food, agriculture, supermarkets, manufacturing, public transit, corrections, or for the US Postal Service.
According to Delaware Public Health Director Dr. Karyl Rattay, an ethics committee following CDC recommendations recommended that people age 75 or older be prioritized. However, Rattay said state data indicates that there is an opportunity to protect people in minority populations who have tended to be affected or perhaps die at a younger age of COVID-19 complications.
“Making this small change from the ACIP recommendations is the right thing to do for all people in our state,” Rattay said. “Doing so provides us the opportunity to vaccinate and protect many more Delawareans, especially those who are already is disproportionately impacted by COVID-19 to begin with due to a variety of factors.”
In the past two weeks, Delaware has administered 8,442 doses of the coronavirus vaccine. The state has obtained 28,400 doses of the Moderna and Pfizer vaccines, which have been directed to hospital systems and federal qualified health centers. Vaccination of EMS personnel has also begun.
Delaware’s Vaccine call center remains in operation at 1-833-643-1715.
At Tuesday’s weekly COVID-19 update, Governor John Carney said the state is looking to ramp up testing in Kent County due to its rate of positive test results. There is also concern about New Year’s Eve and New Year’s Day and the possibility that people may gather in large crowds or become complacent about mask requirements and social distance guidelines.