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Brussels, 25 August 2009

Influenza A (H1N1): EU Health Security Committee agrees statement on target and priority groups for vaccination

Today the European Union Health Security Committee and the Early Warning and Response authorities (HSC/EWRS) adopted a policy statement proposed by the European Commission which outlines a shared European approach towards identifying target and priority groups for A H1N1 vaccination.

On the basis of current scientific evidence and taking into account guidance by the European Centre for Disease Control and the World Health Organisation, the HSC/EWRS statement recommends the following groups as constituting the first priority groups for A H1N1 vaccination:

  • All persons from 6 months old with underlying chronic conditions (e.g. Chronic respiratory diseases; chronic cardiovascular diseases and persons with congenital or acquired immunodeficiency) starting with those with most severe symptoms

  • Pregnant women

  • Health care workers

Once these first priority groups have been vaccinated, the vaccination proceeds until the national targets have been met.

The statement stresses that it is the responsibility and mandate of each Member State to develop a vaccination strategy for Influenza A H1N1. Each country identifies national target groups which are defined as all those population groups where A H1N1 vaccination is recommended. In some cases, this may be the entire population and in other cases only specific groups. However, it is unlikely that the vaccine will be immediately available for all target groups at the same time and therefore, it is necessary to define priority groups.

For more information:

The statement of the EU Health Security Committee and of the Early Warning and Response authorities in Member States can be found at the website of the DG Health and Consumers:

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