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Posted by on Aug 24, 2009 in Infectious diseases

CDC Recommends Novel H1N1 Vaccine for Certain Groups

CDC Recommends Novel H1N1 Vaccine for Certain Groups

Vaccine.jpg

Today the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) released its recommendations for the use of the vaccine against the novel H1N1 (swine flu) virus. Because the initial supply of vaccine may not meet the universal demand, the CDC has identified the following 5 target groups for preferred vaccination on the basis of their risk of infection and disease-related complications:

  1. pregnant women;
  2. persons who live with or provide care for infants younger than 6 months of age;
  3. healthcare and emergency medical services personnel;
  4. individuals from 6 months to 24 years of age; and
  5. individuals 25-64 years of age who have medical conditions (eg, asthma, hypertension, diabetes, HIV) that increase the risk of influenza-related complications.

This population, in total, is estimated to include 159 million Americans, although the estimate does not account for overlap among subgroups (eg, a physician-parent with a young infant). The CDC advises that vaccination of these subgroups should begin as soon as vaccine is available.

The CDC has also identified sub(sub)groups of candidates, should the vaccine supply not meet the targeted demand:

  1. pregnant women;
  2. persons who live with or provide care for infants younger than 6 months of age;
  3. healthcare and emergency medical services personnel who have direct contact with patients or infectious material;
  4. children from 6 months to 4 years of age; and
  5. children and adolescents 5-18 years of age who have medical conditions that increase the risk of influenza-related complications.

Licensed vaccines, which are expected to be available in the United States by mid-October, are necessary because the vaccines for seasonal influenza are not likely to provide adequate protection against the novel H1N1 virus.

bmartin (1127 Posts)

A native East Tennessean, Barbara Martin is a formerly practicing, board-certified neurologist who received her BS (psychology, summa cum laude) and MD from Duke University before completing her postgraduate training (internship, residency, fellowship) at the Hospital of the University of Pennsylvania in Philadelphia. She has worked in academia, private practice, medical publishing, drug market research, and continuing medical education (CME). For the last 3 years, she has worked in a freelance capacity as a medical writer, analyst, and consultant. Follow Dr. Barbara Martin on and Twitter.