"If the H1N1 flu outbreak doesn’t peak until midwinter, it could be curtailed with a staggered vaccination program that begins with children and ultimately targets 70 percent of the population, researchers report online September 10 in Science. "
"Current estimates suggest that between 45 million and 52 million doses of vaccine will be ready by mid-October, with another 195 million by the end of the year. Longini and his colleagues find that because children will experience the highest infection rates they should receive vaccines first. Vaccinating other at-risk groups, such as health care workers and those with compromised immune systems, is also important. Given the pattern of spread among connected people, the researchers suggest that vaccinating 70 percent of the U.S. population will contain the virus."
"If the pandemic flu peaks earlier in October, a vaccination program that targets children would need to be launched as soon as possible, the new analysis in Science concludes.
The new work is well done and highlights the importance of vaccinating children, says Jan Medlock, a mathematical biologist at Clemson University in South Carolina. Close quarters with multiple peers and more liberal personal hygiene policies make kids more likely to carry germs. Vaccinating kids protects them and reduces disease transmission, protecting others, he says.
Compared with most influenza viruses, the H1N1 pandemic flu has also caused more disease in people under age 25 than in older people, perhaps because older people have some preexisting immunity to this strain. That offers another reason to focus initial vaccine efforts on younger people."
all from http://www.usnews.com/articles/science/2009/09/10/swine-flu-vaccination-should-target-children-first.html
Additionally, pregnant women should receive the vaccine:
ATLANTA - Swine flu has been hitting pregnant women unusually hard, so they are likely to be among the first group advised to get a new swine flu shot this fall.
Pregnant women account for 6 percent of U.S. swine flu deaths since the pandemic began in April, even though they make up just 1 percent of the U.S. population.
On Wednesday a federal vaccine advisory panel is meeting to take up the question of who should be first to get swine flu shots when there aren't enough for everyone. At the top of the list are health care workers, who would be crucial to society during a bad pandemic.
But pregnant women may be near the top of the list because they have suffered and died from swine flu at disproportionately high rates.
"Experts believe an effective vaccine would benefit not only a pregnant woman but also her unborn child."
However, here's from the vaccine insert:
Pregnancy Category C: Animal reproduction studies have not been conducted with Influenza A (H1N1) 2009 Monovalent Vaccine or AFLURIA. It is also not known whether these vaccines can cause fetal harm when administered to a pregnant woman or can affect reproduction capacity. Influenza A (H1N1) 2009 Monovalent Vaccine should be given to a pregnant woman only if clearly needed.
8.3 Nursing Mothers
Neither Influenza A (H1N1) 2009 Monovalent Vaccine nor AFLURIA has been evaluated in nursing mothers. It is not known whether Influenza A (H1N1) 2009 Monovalent Vaccine or AFLURIA is excreted in human milk. Because many drugs are excreted in human milk, caution should be exercised when Influenza A (H1N1) 2009 Monovalent Vaccine is administered to a nursing woman.
8.4 Pediatric Use
Neither Influenza A (H1N1) 2009 Monovalent Vaccine nor AFLURIA has been evaluated in children. Safety and effectiveness in the pediatric population have not been established.