The H1N1 Line-up: Pregnant Women and Children First?2 min read
Though U.S. officials hope to have enough of the H1N1 vaccine to distribute it to 120 million people, the Advisory Council on Immunization practices has recommended prioritizing vaccinations based on the scenario of having only 42 million doses available by October.
At the top of this priority list are the following groups: pregnant women, children and healthcare workers. Surprisingly, last in line for the vaccine are those over the age of 65. Though they are normally considered high-risk, the breakout of H1N1 among this group has been comparatively lower than in other groups. The CDC suggests that this may be because this group was exposed to early strains of H1N1 many years ago.
Some EU countries including Britain, Greece, France and Sweden, are anxious to get a vaccine tested and approved in a shorter timeframe and plan to deploy it as soon as it is approved– within weeks in some countries. Though many wonder if the risks and benefits have been properly weighed, European officials clearly think the rush is worth it. If you are planning a trip to Europe in the next couple of months, we will help you keep an eye on any vaccination requirements for international travelers.
What does all this mean? H1N1 continues to keep us wondering what will happen next. And if countries are reacting differently to the threat it presents, at least it is being given proper consideration.
Be sure you check out the recommended priorities from the Advisory Council and find out where you fall on the list. Will you get the vaccine or will you choose to take your chances with H1N1?