Priority groups named to receive H1N1 flu vaccine | National Union of Public and General Employees

Priority groups named to receive H1N1 flu vaccine

Public Health Agency of Canada says pregnant women, people with chronic conditions, children six months to five years old, people living in remote communities and health care workers will be invited to get vaccinated first.

Ottawa (18 Sept. 2009) - Pregnant women and people with chronic conditions such as asthma, diabetes and heart disease have been identified as priority groups when Canadians are offered the H1N1 flu vaccine this fall.

Other priority groups include children aged six months to five years old, and people who live in isolated and remote communities, says the Public Health Agency of Canada (PHAC).

Also on the list of those who will be given priority are health care workers and care givers looking after vulnerable people who cannot be immunized.

Dr. David Butler-Jones, Canada’s chief medical officer, says the first doses of H1N1 vaccine should be available in early November. About 2,000 Canadians will be involved in clinical trials before then.

Enough vaccine for everyone

Butler-Jones said the identification of vulnerable groups was based on objective analysis and reviewed by government experts, public health officials and citizen focus groups.

He also stressed that every Canadian who wants immunization will be accommodated. The federal government has ordered 50.4 million doses of the H1N1 vaccine. About seven million people are included in the priority groups.

Butler-Jones said the “sequencing” of vulnerable groups does not mean other Canadians will be rebuffed at flu clinics.

“We won’t have to turn people away,” Butler-Jones said. “The issue would be encouraging people with risk conditions to get in early to seek to get the vaccine as soon as possible.”

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The National Union of Public and General Employees (NUPGE) is one of Canada's largest labour organizations with over 340,000 members. Our mission is to improve the lives of working families and to build a stronger Canada by ensuring our common wealth is used for the common good. NUPGE

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