Skip to comments.Vaccinate Canadians under 40 and natives first: experts
Posted on 06/23/2009 8:08:19 AM PDT by BGHater
Five-to-40-year-olds and Canada's aboriginal communities should be the first to get vaccinated against human swine flu, experts say as Canadian officials decide who gets priority for the flu shots.
Under Canada's official pandemic plan, the entire population would ultimately be immunized against the H1N1 swine flu.
But the vaccine will become available in batches, meaning the entire population can't be vaccinated at once. It might take four or five months to get all the vaccine we're going to get, during which time a second wave of swine flu may well be underway.
The Public Health Agency of Canada is working on a priority list, deciding where the first batches should go, and who should get the injections first. All provinces and territories would be expected to follow the national prioritization scheme.
Unlike normal seasonal flu, the H1N1 virus appears to be disproportionately infecting older children and young adults. So far the largest number of confirmed cases have occurred in people between the ages of five and 24.
"It doesn't mean they're all getting sick and need to be hospitalized, but they're getting significant illness," said Dr. Noni MacDonald, a leader in pediatric infectious diseases and a professor of pediatrics at Dalhousie University in Halifax.
British researchers reported last week that targeting children first would protect not only them, but also unvaccinated adults.
"Even if you are concerned about the elderly, who are often mentioned as another risk group, their main connection to the big pool of infection is often their grandchildren," said Dr. Thomas House of the University of Warwick.
But adults older than 64 don't appear to be at increased risk of H1N1-related complications so far in the outbreak. It's possible they have some antibodies against the virus.
As well, children "are known to be really important for transmitting flu," said Earl Brown, executive director of the Emerging Pathogens Research Centre at the University of Ottawa.
"They're important for the cycle of infection. They tend to be naive as far as not having flu antibodies in their system before. And really young kids, their immune systems aren't fully mature.
"Children tend to be hit, and they can be hit harder," Brown said. By immunizing children first, "you get to try to block spread, and protect a vulnerable group."
Gymnasiums would be used for mass school-based vaccination programs but experts say the harder to reach group will be the 18-to-30-year-olds.
"Some of them are in school, a lot of them are not," MacDonald said. "They're very much living in the moment and don't necessarily see themselves as being at risk. We need some fast thinking about how to reach those people."
She suggested booths could be set up outside bars for information and immunization.
"You've got to be creative about this and really think out of the box."
Canada's aboriginal communities also appear to be getting more serious infections. Crowded, poorly ventilated housing and poor access to high-quality running water and sanitization are some of the factors being blamed. Aboriginals also have higher rates of asthma, chronic lung disease, obesity and diabetes the very diseases early data suggests puts people at higher risk of life-threatening complications from swine flu.
The H1N1 vaccine will be a separate vaccine from the regular, annual flu shot. People will require two jabs, and possibly three, depending on how effective the vaccine is in producing immunity. The Public Health Agency of Canada says that no decisions have yet been made about who would get priority first.
One of the challenges will be getting people to agree to the shots. There will be limited information about any vaccine's safety before immunization campaigns are rolled out across the country.
"We usually do research in healthy adults before we do it in children, because this is a new vaccine, and you want to be sure that it's safe and effective before you give it to vulnerable populations, or populations who don't have full capacity to make an informed decision about getting it or not," said Dr. Joanne Langley, of Health Canada's National Advisory Committee on Immunization.
"There are pros and cons to putting (children) first."
Babies under six months of age are not vaccinated against flu.
'One of the challenges will be getting people to agree to the shots. There will be limited information about any vaccine's safety before immunization campaigns are rolled out across the country.'
So those over 40 can just get sick - Looks like Obamacare where the "officials" make your health care decisions for you. It will be that an "official" will decide whether you live or die even if you have the money to pay for treatment yourself. After all when health care becomes a "right" then there will be an unlimited demand and it has to be allocated some way. Far better that the ninos of illegal immigrants get priority over the taxpayers who pay for it. That's one way of getting rid of cantankerous old farts like me who believe in outmoded things like the bill of rights and personal freedom.
Canada’s official H1N1 pandemic plan
All this for a flu which has barely made anyone sick.
Im sorry but you wont get much sympathy when you complain about children being immunized first. There’s just not a lot of people out there who would look at 1 needle and give it to the old guy rather than the child.
RAID for Seniors.
Yeah, goo dluck getting members of The First Nations to agree to anything like that. More like “you go first...”
The main thing is this: The swine flu "pandemic" is just another doom and gloom scenario by the libtards to keep the populace terrified and make them think the only one that can save them is the government.
“Have to disagree with you there”
You’re not disagreeing with anything I said.
I said most people would want the child to have the immunization first.
Care to tackle that?
Now, it looks to me like a flu variant. People die from the flu every year. I doubt that this year will be any different.
FWIW, I don't get vaccinated, neither does Mrs WBill. I don't, primarily because the three years that I've been vaccinated (once in college, twice for where I worked) ...I was miserably sick all winter. Didn't get the flu, but got every single thing that came down the pike.
Anyone know more about squalene in the flu shots? Not possible to test adequately, new vaccines in a few months...takes years. Squalene has been found to be causative of autoimmune responses to IM injection in the past. Squalene apparently is in the vaccine base of the new flu shots. Autoimmune means squalene IM causes the body to make antibodies to the bodies own naturally occurring squalene in various body tissues, thus the body now attacks its own tissues containing squalent...an autoimmune response that lasts forever.
Here is a search of “IM squalene and autoimmune” “IM” means intramuscular:
I do believe that a lot of folks over 40 have antibodies.
I think their concern is with the Inuit (formerly Eskimo) population, which has issues with immune deficiencies to many bugs from down south
What about the polar bears? Shouldn’t they have first priority?
Seriously, they have to set up some kind of priorities, and I can’t fault them on this. The swine flu this spring did not cause many deaths, but no one knows what to expect when it mutates and returns in the fall.
Some kinds of flu tend to hit people with the strongest immune systems—i.e., between 5 and 40. That seems to have been the case with the Spanish flu and with reports of the swine flu in Mexico. So you can argue that this policy makes a certain amount of sense.
Although normally those over 65 or with compromised immune system get the first priority when regular flu shots are given in the fall—just the opposite of this policy.
So it all depends what kind of flu hits next fall. Frankly, we can only guess at this point.
Inuit are in the NOrthwest Territoties their are many other Nations in the East. Trust me when I tell you that on the Rez you will NOT get compliance for vaccines
In 4 or 5 months everyone will have had it anyway. It’s running through my town now, getting all the kids just as vacation hits, 3 of my 4 kids, no worse than an ordinary flu, me, like a bad cold, not even coughing now.
Not swearing it was H1N1 for us, because we didn’t test, but just about everyone who did test had H1N1.
Pretty healthy people dying from H1N1
June 20, 2009
Stories by Helen Branswell
The Canadian Press
TORONTO (Jun 20, 2009)
Whether speaking of a 58-year-old man or a 38-year-old woman or a little boy of nine, officials announcing swine flu deaths are almost always quick to note underlying health conditions may have contributed to the fatal outcome.
Asthma, heart disease, diabetes, maybe even obesity are among the conditions used to help explain why swine flu infection is hospitalizing and killing younger people, people who would be expected to make a full recovery from seasonal flu.
It could create the impression that only the sickly are dying from the new H1N1 flu virus a claim no one is making. To the contrary, many, including the World Health Organization, say between one-third and one-half of swine flu deaths have occurred in people who were previously healthy.
But how healthy is previously healthy? The answer depends on whom you ask.
Dr. Anand Kumar is a critical-care specialist who has been treating swine flu cases in embattled intensive care units in three Winnipeg hospitals.
He says a small portion of the ICU patients look like flus typical victims, people with health conditions known to be badly exacerbated by a bout of influenza. But more are younger and until they got sick healthier than flu patients hospitals typically see during a regular influenza season.
For the most part, these young, relatively healthy people arent marathon runners or anything like that, he admits.
Theyre normal people. ... If you asked them, Are you healthy? theyd say, Yeah, pretty healthy.
Dr. Michael Gardam, head of infectious disease prevention and control for Ontarios public health agency, believes the constant refrain of underlying conditions bespeaks a sort of wishful thinking, an attempt to explain away the unusual age range of the people the new virus is sending to hospital or to the morgue.
Thats the story that I think people havent really registered, says Gardam. Were clinging to these Oh, they had underlying illness, therefore its OK.
But ... I would argue that the 30-year-old with mild asthma how big of an underlying illness is that compared to again the 80-year-old person with bad lung disease from smoking whos got heart disease? Thats the usual group that unfortunately gets really sick with flu, not this healthy adult group.
Youll find little argument that this virus, at this time, is causing more severe disease in people far younger than those normally hospitalized and killed by flu or its complications in a typical flu season.
This is not a disease of older adults. Theres no question, says Dr. Allison McGeer, an influenza expert with Torontos Mount Sinai Hospital.
For people under 50, this is a significantly more severe disease than seasonal flu. For people over 50, its much better, she notes.
But are the people under 50 who are being badly hit by the virus specimens of perfect health or are many of them already shaded by the broad umbrella known as pre-existing health conditions? How you view a condition like asthma seen in 41 per cent of the hospitalized cases in New York City may influence how you answer that question.
A lot of that is about labelling people, McGeer admits.
Half of me doesnt want you to think youre diseased if you have asthma, and the other half of me wants you to get your flu vaccine because youre at increased risk.
How do you walk that line?
Year in and year out, public health authorities get plenty of evidence many people who have some health issues plunk themselves firmly on the healthy side of the divide.
Scads of people with asthma, diabetes and other conditions and women who are pregnant forego the flu shots public health officials urge them to get, suggests Dr. Scott Harper, an influenza expert with New York Citys Department of Health.
The majority of deaths that are being seen have well recognized underlying health risks, he insists.
One such potential new risk factor is obesity. An early study from the U.S. Centers for Disease Control suggested it may be contributing to poor outcomes in people who contract the new H1N1. The WHO is concerned about that possibility.
Obesity is now a huge global problem, says Dr. Nikki Shindo, an expert with the WHOs global influenza program.
And if obesity is a risk factor, then I would be very much worried about some of the populations that are living with obese conditions.
Ping... (thanks, DvdMom!)
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