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Federal advisory panel recommends essential workers, people over 75 receive vaccines next

The federal Advisory Committee on Immunization Practices recommended on Sunday that after health workers and nursing home residents receive the coronavirus vaccine, next in line should be people 75 and older and essential workers like teachers, grocery store workers, corrections officers, U.S. Postal Service employees, and firefighters.

The recommendation will now be sent to the director of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and used to guide states on how to put together vaccination programs.

Last week, 556,000 Americans received initial doses of the coronavirus vaccine developed by Pfizer and BioNTech, the CDC said. On Friday, U.S. regulators approved a second coronavirus vaccine by Moderna, and the first doses were shipped Sunday.

The decision to give the next vaccines to those 75 and older and certain frontline workers who are in regular contact with other people will affect about 50 million Americans. The CDC expects up to 20 million people could start receiving their first shots in December, followed by 30 million more in January and 50 million in February, The Associated Press reports. The coronavirus is spreading uncontrollably across the U.S., and has killed at least 316,000 people.