The National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine released the final report of a consensus study recommending a four-phased equitable allocation framework that the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) and state, tribal, local, and territorial (STLT) authorities should adopt in the development of national and local guidelines for COVID-19 vaccine allocation. The phased approach, once adopted, would result in most individuals in the MPS/ML community qualifying to be among the first recipients of a COVID-19 vaccine when it becomes available.

The four phases proposed for vaccine prioritization are listed below with the estimated national percentages anticipated in each group:

  • Phase 1 (15% total)
    • Phase 1a (5%) 
    • Phase 1b (10%)
  • Phase 2 (30-35%)
  • Phase 3 (40-45%)
  • Phase 4 (remaining 5-15% of the population)

The rare disease community, including individuals with MPS and ML, may be classified in Phase 1b or Phase 2, based on the following considerations:

Covering approximately 10 percent of the population, Phase 1b includes people of all ages with comorbid and underlying conditions that put them at significantly higher risk of severe COVID-19 disease or death.  The CDC list of comorbid risk-associated conditions includes: cancer, chronic kidney disease, chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD), immunocompromised state from solid organ transplant, obesity (body mass index [BMI] ≥30), serious heart conditions (e.g., heart failure, coronary artery disease, cardiomyopathies), sickle cell disease, and type 2 diabetes mellitus. Some individuals with MPS or ML would fall under these criteria, especially including serious heart conditions. The priority in Phase 1b would be patients with two or more comorbid conditions, due to the greatest risk of hospitalization from COVID-19.

Phase 2 includes individuals with underlying comorbid conditions who are not included in Phase 1b, as well as some rare disease conditions. Also listed were all individuals in group home settings, including those with developmental and intellectual disabilities.

Also of note, is that the medical community, including health care staff and in-home caregivers, will come under Phase 1a. This will ensure safe access to health care for so many in the MPS/ML community who are in regular contact with health care professionals.

The full report can be read online at:

A free PDF download of the report is available at: