Priority groups identified for swine flu vaccine

The swine flu vaccination campaign will initially target people who are at greatest risk from the disease, the government has revealed.

The following groups, in order of priority, will be strongly encouraged to undergo vaccination:

  • People aged between six months and 65 years who usually receive the seasonal flu jab
  • Pregnant women (subject to licensing)
  • People who live with an immunocompromised person
  • People aged 65 and over who usually receive the seasonal flu jab

Frontline health and social care workers will also be offered vaccination. In total, the target population amounts to around 14 million people.

Healthy people over the age of 65 and children are not considered priorities for vaccination as the former seem to have some natural immunity to the swine flu virus, and the latter almost always make a full recovery from the disease.

The immunisation programme will begin once the vaccine, currently being tested in clinical trials, has been licensed by the European Medicines Agency. "In October we expect, provided the licence is granted, to be able to give the first shots of vaccine," says Chief Medical Officer Liam Donaldson.

The evolution of the pandemic and the effects of the vaccine will be monitored to determine whether vaccination should be offered to the wider healthy population.

Want news like this straight to your inbox?
Sign up for our bulletins

Have you registered with us yet?

Register now to enjoy more articles and free email bulletins

Register
Already registered?
Sign in

Register or Subscribe to MIMS

GPs can get MIMS print & online and GPonline for free when they register online – take 2 minutes, and make sure you get your free MIMS access! If you're not a GP, you can subscribe to MIMS for full access.

Register or subscribe

MIMS Dermatology

Read the latest issue online exclusively on MIMS Learning.

Read MIMS Dermatology

MIMS Adviser

Especially created for prescribing influencers.

Request free copy

Mobile apps

MIMS: access the full drug database and quick-reference tables on the go

MIMS Diagnosis and Management: concise information on signs and symptoms, investigations and diseases