Pennsylvania well being officers this week moved to prioritize people who smoke for the COVID-19 vaccine.
The Pennsylvania Division of Well being’s section 1a vaccine distribution plan — the state’s present section — now contains “individuals ages 16-64 with high-risk medical situations,” with smoking listed.
Based on the state’s vaccine rollout plan, people who smoke in Pennsylvania are prioritized above educations staff, first responders, and postal service staff, amongst different teams.
“Pennsylvania has chosen to comply with the [Centers for Disease Control and Prevention] suggestions and embody smoking among the many checklist of medical situations placing people at better danger,” a well being division spokesperson advised native information station WTAE-4 in a press release.
Certainly, the state’s growth to incorporate these with underlying situations — together with smoking — is according to CDC steerage for many who are thought of to be at an elevated danger of extreme sickness from COVID-19.
Even so, not all residents are thrilled with the transfer — with one Pennsylvania lady telling WTAE-4 that she was “astounded” by the information.
The inclusion of people who smoke in section 1a follows a comparable transfer out of New Jersey, the place well being officers opened up its coronavirus vaccine distribution to incorporate residents ages 65 and older and people ages 16 and older who’ve at the very least one persistent medical situation, which the state additionally stated contains smoking.
Mississippi, too, has prioritized people who smoke its first coronavirus vaccine distribution section.
Fox Information’ Alexandria Hein contributed to this report.