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California Community Vaccine Advisory Committee meetings
The Community Vaccine Advisory Committee is providing input and feedback to the planning efforts and resolving barriers to equitable vaccine implementation and decision-making.

Main page at CDPH (meeting schedule, agenda, etc)

Meeting 1, Nov 25.  Slides

Meeting 2, Nov 30.  Slides, Summary

Meeting 3, Dec 9.  Slides, Summary,

Meeting 4, Dec 16  Slides, Summary,

Meeting 5, Dec. 23. Slides ,

Meeting 6, Jan 6  Slides

Meeting 7, Jan 12   "Urgent" because CDC recommended doing 65+, 16-64 with comorbidity now.

Youtube channel
I watched meeting 7 tonight. It was called to discuss the call by CDC and HHS for the states to open up immediately to 65+ and 16-64 with co-morbidity.

The proposed language change to California priorities was basically changing Phase 1B Tier 1 to say "65+" rather than "75+". 16-64 with co-morbidity was, for now, left where it was (Phase 1B Tier 2)

So, the proposal did not meet the CDC's recommendation of immediately, nor did it advance the 16-64 +co-morbidity at all.

The reasons for making this change were discussed early. The older people are the ones dying and filling the hospitals. No data was presented.

The estimated number given for the additional ages (ie, the increase in the size of Phase 1B Tier 1) was given as 4.25M. No mention was made that the movement slows vaccine only for those already in Phase 1B Tier 1 (by sharing the slot) and the priority (vs sharing) over those in Phase 1B Tier 2.

There was an estimate of 2M vaccines per month for California.

There was general recognition that the change made sense, for deaths, for hospital usage during the surge. Representatives of specific groups of essential workers had some concerns, but generally there was support for the change. There were other issues discussed (particularly some LTCF facilities (primarily assisted living) have no date yet for vaccinations, need for consistent implementation, etc).

There was no vote or poll on this change. Apparently this group only voices issues, but doesn't put a common voice forward.

So, shortly, I expect 65+ will be in Phase 1B Tier 1, but like 14-64 with comorbidity will still be in Phase 1B Tier 2.
Hypertension a comorbidity or not. First yes, then later no. . . .
Short answer: no, hypertension doesn't qualify you for an earlier vaccine.

Long answer:  I am presuming a bit here.  The actual wording used (by the CDC) isn't clear.  I have written to the California committee to try to clarify the language, but population numbers indicate one of the meanings.

 The CDC reviewed a number of studies and broke the list of medical conditions into 2 groups.  If you have a condition in one group, you "are at increased risk".  If you have a condition in the other group, the evidence isn't as strong yet, so they say you "might be at increased risk".

Those in the first group include about 41% of the US population (110M of the 355M 18+).  I think I recall that if you add in the 2nd group, it is something like 56% of the population (actually, I'd think it would be higher).

1st group: (counts toward getting a vaccine earlier)
  • Cancer
  • Chronic kidney disease
  • COPD (chronic obstructive pulmonary disease)
  • Down Syndrome
  • Heart conditions, such as heart failure, coronary artery disease, or cardiomyopathies
  • Immunocompromised state (weakened immune system) from solid organ transplant
  • Obesity (body mass index [BMI] of 30 kg/m2 or higher but < 40 kg/m2)
  • Severe Obesity (BMI ≥ 40 kg/m2)
  • Pregnancy
  • Sickle cell disease
  • Smoking
  • Type 2 diabetes mellitus
Second group: (not counted as a underlying medical condition for the purpose of a vaccine)
  • Asthma (moderate-to-severe)
  • Cerebrovascular disease (affects blood vessels and blood supply to the brain)
  • Cystic fibrosis
  • Hypertension or high blood pressure
  • Immunocompromised state (weakened immune system) from blood or bone marrow transplant, immune deficiencies, HIV, use of corticosteroids, or use of other immune weakening medicines
  • Neurologic conditions, such as dementia
  • Liver disease
  • Overweight (BMI > 25 kg/m2, but < 30 kg/m2)
  • Pulmonary fibrosis (having damaged or scarred lung tissues)
  • Thalassemia (a type of blood disorder)
  • Type 1 diabetes mellitus
Second group for me. . . .

Does skin cancer count for the first group?

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