COVID-19 Vaccination Phased Vaccination Strategy for Groups

Midwest Allergy Sinus Asthma, SC

COVID-19 Vaccination Phased Vaccination Strategy for Groups
By Dareen Siri, MD ​(February 2021)
The following recommendations have been made to States by the CDC ACIP working group.

The strategy for COVID-19 vaccination is to prioritize the vaccine administration to different groups based on both risk of mortality and morbidity (death and bad outcomes), as well as risk of contracting COVID-19.

Each State and local public health authority will determine which recommendations to implement during their distribution of the vaccines.

This phased public health strategy for vaccination is only necessary while the COVID-19 vaccines are limited in availability. It is anticipated that once large scale manufacturing and access to more vaccines exist, that the phased strategy may no longer be needed. (An example is the wide availability of the season Influenza vaccination each year).


Prioritized Group for Vaccination (Recommendation)

Estimated Population


Health care personnel 21 million
Long-term care residents 3 million


Individuals age 75 years or older 19 million
Frontline essential workers:

  • First response (firefighters, police)
  • Education (teachers, support staff, daycare)
  • Food and agriculture
  • Manufacturing
  • Corrections
  • United States Postal Service
  • Public transit
  • Grocery stores
30 million


Individuals age 65 to 74 years 28 million
Individuals age 16 to 64 years with high-risk conditions 81 million
Other essential workers in the following fields:

  • Transportation and logistics
  • Food service
  • Shelter and housing (construction)
  • Finance
  • IT and communication
  • Energy
  • Media
  • Legal
  • Public safety (engineers)
  • Water and wastewater
20 million


Individuals age 16 to 64 years <86 million

From the ​ACIP COVID-19 Vaccine Working Group. Phased Allocation of COVID-19 Vaccines.