The health care debate-6: The curious case of the swine flu vaccine guidelines

(For previous posts on the issue of health care, see here.)

The US is preparing for an expected outbreak of the H1N1 (‘swine’) flu epidemic in the fall. Scientists are in the process of developing a vaccine that is due to be available in October. A federal advisory board to the Centers for Disease Control (CDC) issued guidelines on July 29 for who should get priority in vaccinations.

The committee recommended the vaccination efforts focus on five key populations. Vaccination efforts are designed to help reduce the impact and spread of novel H1N1. The key populations include those who are at higher risk of disease or complications, those who are likely to come in contact with novel H1N1, and those who could infect young infants. When vaccine is first available, the committee recommended that programs and providers try to vaccinate:
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