CHECK: Will smokers in Washington get COVID-19 vaccine before non-smokers?
Smokers in some states have a better place in the vaccine lineup because they are more likely to become seriously ill or die from COVID-19.
SEATTLE – Smokers in some states have a better place in the vaccine lineup because they are more likely to become seriously ill or die from COVID-19.
We asked the Washington State Department of Health if this is the case here.
The answer is yes in some cases.
A spokesperson for the Department of Health told us that “adult smokers of all ages are at increased risk of COVID-19 and are a priority for the vaccine in Washington.”
It’s not yet the case.
Washington State is currently prioritizing healthcare workers, first responders, people 65 years of age and over, and some caregivers. Then, essential workers, such as those employed in grocery stores and public transport, and educators 50 years and older will receive the vaccine.
Dr Ali Mokdad, professor of global health at the Institute for Health Metrics and Evaluation at the University of Washington, said one of the reasons for prioritizing some people for vaccines right now is to avoid overcrowding in hospital intensive care units.
This requires targeting people, like smokers, who are most likely to be hospitalized, he said.
“I can see some people complaining that you are a smoker, you can quit smoking, but even if you quit smoking today your lungs have been damaged, you are still at high risk if you recently quit smoking “Mokdad said. .