Puffing on cancer sticks in Pennsylvania will potentially prevent you from getting sick, at least when it comes to COVID-19.
The state is bumping smokers to the front of the vaccine line because, the Pennsylvania Department of Health said Friday, the practise makes you more prone to the disease.
In the first stage of the Keystone State’s coronavirus vaccine delivery strategy, WTAE-4 states, all individuals aged 16 to 64 with “high-risk medical conditions,” like being hooked on cigarettes, were added.
A rep for the state’s health department told the station that, “Pennsylvania has chosen to follow the recommendations of the [Centers for Disease Control and Prevention] and include smoking among the list of medical conditions that put people at higher risk.”
Smokers, along with health care staff, residents in nursing homes, and people aged 65 and over under Phase 1A of the plan are now eligible for the potentially life-saving shots.
It was not immediately clear how the state can check whether an individual is a smoker, and a spokeswoman from the health department did not immediately return Friday’s request for comment from The Post.
The CDC Advisory Committee on Immunization Policies advises that Step 1C of the vaccine allocation plan should include persons aged 16 to 64 with high-risk medical conditions. But each state, as it sees fit, is free to tweak the plan.
Also, New Jersey and Mississippi currently sell the vaccine to smokers under the age of 65.