On October 23, the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) released for public comment, Draft Guidance on Allocating and Targeting Pandemic Influenza Vaccine
- who gets vaccinated first in the event of a pandemic. The American Nurses Association (ANA) actively advocated for registered nurses and other health care workers to be considered a high priority for receiving the pandemic influenza vaccine once it is developed.
This draft guidance places nurses and other health care workers, including home health, public health, and long-term care, which are “deemed critical to provide services” as an initial priority to receiving the vaccine. In addition, should further prioritization be necessary in-patient and hospital based-based health care workers are placed to the first recipient of the vaccine. With regard to occupation targets, the focus is on those personnel who are in positions to maintain essential functions.
ANA encourages all registered nurses and the public to review this document and provide feedback to the federal government. The document can be accessed and comments submitted at www.pandemicflu.gov/vaccine/prioritization.html.