Thursday, July 30, 2009

H1N1 update: CDC recommendations for Novel Flu Vaccine

CDC Press Conference on Recommendations for Use of Vaccine Against Novel Influenza A (H1N1)

The CDC's Advisory Committee on Immunization Practices (ACIP) has recommended which U.S. population groups should be targeted to receive H1N1 influenza vaccine when it becomes available. People over 65 have the lowest priority.

The 15-member ACIP says these five groups should be targeted:

  • pregnant women;
  • household contacts of infants under 6 months;
  • healthcare and emergency-services workers;
  • young people between 6 months and 24 years of age;
  • and nonelderly adults with underlying risk conditions, such as diabetes and chronic lung disease.

The five groups comprise about 160 million people, about half the U.S. population.

Dr. Anne Schuchat, who directs the CDC's center for immunization, said at a press conference that people over 65 received ACIP's lowest priority for H1N1 vaccination because the virus "has, to a large extent, spared that population." She emphasized, however, the importance of ensuring that the elderly receive the seasonal flu vaccine.

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