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Swine Flu Vaccine Priorities from the CDC

July 31, 2009

The CDC’s Advisory Committee on Immunization Practices met this week to discuss which groups should receive the H1N1 swine flu vaccine when it becomes available if there is not enough for everyone.

The groups prioritized to receive the vaccine first/if there is limited supply are:

  • Pregnant women

  • Household contacts and caregivers for children younger than 6 months of age
  • Healthcare and emergency medical services personnel
  • All people from 6 months through 24 years of age
  • Persons aged 25 through 64 years who have health conditions associated with higher risk of medical complications from influenza.

The CDC’s website provides a rationale for each of these selections. The groups combined apparently total approximately 159 million people in the United States, according to this CDC press release.

I’ll be interested/anxious to see how this plays out, both in testing and in mass vaccination. For the purposes of trials of the vaccine, both pregnant women and children are considered special populations (as are prisoners, fetuses, and newborns) requiring special attention and review. Additionally, some adverse effects of any drug or procedure are usually not seen/known/fully understood until lots and lots of people are exposed to it – i.e., when lots of people start getting vaccinated. I hope the studies have damn good and attentive IRBs, and that reports of adverse effects are monitored very closely once mass vaccination begins.

For a related post on this topic, see Our Bodies Our Blog, Confusing Advice on Swine Flu for Pregnant Women.

2 Comments leave one →
  1. July 31, 2009 8:38 pm

    i think it is clear by now that there certainly will not be sufficient vaccine made available for everyone in the U.S. who might want to be inoculated this fall. for this reason it is important that priorities be set early so that a mindset for prioritization can be established well ahead of time. i certainly do not mind that i will not be eligible to be vaccinated, because i am comforted by the fact that my child, and every other child, will be eligible – which is exactly how it should be, of course. – Stephen Carter, author of Survive Pandemic Flu

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