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Pregnant Women, Health-Care Workers Top Swine Flu Vaccine Candidates
Date:7/29/2009

CDC advisory panel outlines priorities for a fall flu shot rollout

WEDNESDAY, July 29 (HealthDay News) -- Women who are pregnant, children six months and older, and health care workers should all get top priority when the H1N1 swine flu vaccine arrives this fall, a U.S. government advisory panel recommended late Wednesday.

Added to that list of first-line recipients are parents and caregivers of infants; non-elderly adults with risky medical problems, and young adults aged 19 to 24, according to the Advisory Committee on Immunization Practices, part of the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. The panel met Wednesday in Atlanta to review data for setting swine flu vaccine priorities.

"The committee recommended five target groups for the initial focus for immunization," Dr. Anne Schuchat, director of the CDC's National Center for Immunization and Respiratory Diseases, said at a late-afternoon press conference Wednesday. "These are groups that had higher risk of disease, who had greater burden of complications."

Should there be a shortage of vaccine, the panel still recommended that all the groups be targeted, Schuchat added.

"If the supplies are really limited, the committee came up with a 'first-in-line' scheme," Schuchat said. "But our real operating assumption is that we will go forward with the broader group."

Schuchat added that it was likely that people will need two shots of the H1N1 vaccine to be protected.

"We are on track, expecting vaccine doses in the fall," she said. "Exactly how many, exactly when will be tough to pinpoint, but we have a lot of planning assumptions that we are working around."

Clinical trials of candidate H1N1 vaccines are set to begin soon, and the CDC estimates that about 120 million doses will be available this fall.

The groups included in Wednesday's recommendations together total 150 million Americans, according t
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