CDC and WHO Recommendations for Pandemic (H1N1) 2009 Vaccination

There is no available vaccine to protect humans from the novel influenza A (H1N1) virus, now called Pandemic (H1N1) 2009 by the World Health Organization (WHO).  The US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) and WHO have each issued recommendations for vaccination when a vaccine becomes available. 


The CDC Advisory Committee on Immunization Practices recommends focusing on 5 key populations: pregnant women, people who live with or care for children < 6 months old, health care and emergency services personnel, persons aged 6 months to 24 years and persons aged 25-64 years who are at higher risk for pandemic (H1N1) 2009 due to chronic health disorders or compromised immune systems.  In the event of a vaccine shortage, the CDC committee recommends prioritizing the immunization of the first 3 groups listed above, followed by children aged 6 months to 4 years and children aged 5-18 years who have chronic medical conditions (CDC Press Release 2009 Jul 29).


The WHO recommendations call for vaccinating healthcare workers as a first priority, and state that individual countries should determine priorities based on their specific conditions for pregnant women, children > 6 months old and adults with specific chronic medical conditions, healthy young adults aged 15-49 years, healthy children, healthy adults aged 50-64 years and healthy adults ≥ 65 years old (WHO Pandemic (H1N1) 2009 Briefing Note 2009 Jul 13).


Manufacturers expect to have vaccines available for use in September (WHO Pandemic (H1N1) 2009 Briefing Note 2009 Jul 24). 

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