Pennsylvania has taken smokers to the top of its list to get the COVID-19 vaccine.
Pennsylvania Department of Health has added “individuals ages 16-64 with high-risk medical conditions” Step 1a Its vaccine allocation scheme. Smoking is listed as a high-risk condition.
Pennsylvania’s Phase 1A also includes health care personnel, long-term care facility residents, and people 65 and older. The state is now in Phase 1A of its allocation plan.
Department spokesman Told WTAE-4 In Pittsburgh that “Pennsylvania has chosen to follow [Centers for Disease Control and Prevention] Recommendations and inclusion of high-risk individuals in the list of medical conditions. “
The Pennsylvania Department of Health did not immediately return a request for comment from Hill.
The CDC’s Advisory Committee on Immunization Practices currently recommends those aged 16–64 with medical conditions that increase their risks of severe COVID-19. Step 1 c, But states are free to modify their distribution plans at their discretion.
The CDC says that smoking increases Risk of serious illness with COVID-19. Smoking Weak The immune system, which reduces the body’s ability to fight disease.
The move came as states expanded eligibility to provide more vaccinations to their residents. CNN reported New Jersey and Mississippi currently offer the vaccine to smokers, and several other states have smokers next in line.