Here are the states that violate the CDC guidelines on vaccine priority


The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention has recommended that Covid-19 go first to healthcare professionals – most states appear to be following – but many states have announced they will deviate from the CDC’s proposal on who follows it: people 75 and older and basic workers.

Key facts

States that give preference to older residents over basic workers: Texas, Florida, Hawaii, Oklahoma (adults with pre-existing conditions)

States prioritize basic workers for older residents: Alaska, Arizona, Arkansas, Idaho, Kentucky, Michigan, Nebraska, New Jersey, New York, Virginia, West Virginia, New Hampshire, Vermont, Massachusetts, and Nevada.

States that give preference to older residents and people with existing conditions over basic workers: Hawaii (the first to react in the first phase), Indiana, Kansas, Tennessee, Texas

States that favor people with pre-existing conditions over older residents and basic workers: North Carolina

What to look out for

States have yet to publish special guidelines for the second round of shots: Connecticut, Illinois, Iowa, Louisiana, Maryland, Minnesota, Montana, New Mexico, North Dakota, Ohio, Oregon, Rhode Island, South Dakota, Washington, Wisconsin, Wyoming.

Key background

A panel recommending vaccination priority to the CDC, the Advisory Committee on Immunization Practices (ACIP), sparked controversy after initially recommending that primary workers be immunized before people over 65 and those at high risk in the second round of vaccines. Faced with a limited supply of vaccines, some states are already indicating that they will dose at different doses from the recommended CDCs for the second round, known as “phase 1b,” although many have not completed their criteria.


By law, states do not have to follow CDC guidelines, but most followed recommendations for the so-called “phase 1a group,” which indicated who should receive the first round of shots.

Big number

17.6 million. That’s how many health workers and residents of long-term care fall into the Phase 1a category, according to the Kaiser Family Foundation. According to CBS News, the Phase 1b group numbers about 49 million people.

A surprising fact

According to data conducted by the agency, more than 1.1 million people have already been vaccinated in the United States New York Times.

Key quote

“Vaccines will be targeted where the risk will be greatest, and that is in our elderly population,” Governor Ron DeSantis (R-Fla.) Said during a press conference this week. “We will not put young, healthy workers ahead of our older, vulnerable population.” More than 3 million people over the age of 70 live in Florida.

Further reading

Trump administration agrees on 100 million additional doses of Pfizer vaccine (Forbes)

Pfizer-BioNTech, Modern test vaccine against a new variant of Covid-19 that is spreading across the UK (Forbes)

DeSantis will not give priority to Florida core workers for Covid vaccine, breaking CDC guidelines (Forbes)

COVID-19 vaccine plan means some countries will lag behind in referring to highest risk groups (USA Today)