Guidance on Allocating
and Targeting Pandemic
U.S. DEPARTMENT OF HEALTH AND HUMAN SERVICES
U.S. DEPARTMENT OF HOMELAND SECURITY
Effective allocation of pandemic influenza vaccine will play a critical role in preventing influenza and
reducing its effects on health and society when a pandemic arrives. The specific type of influenza that
causes a pandemic will not be known until it occurs. Developing a new vaccine in response will take
several months and pandemic vaccine may not be available when cases first occur in the United States.
Moreover, once vaccine production begins, it will not be possible to make enough new vaccine to protect
everyone in the early stages of a pandemic.
The U.S. Government is taking steps to minimize the need to make vaccine allocation decisions by sup
porting efforts to increase domestic influenza vaccine production capacity. Significant funding is be
ing provided to develop new vaccine technologies that allow production of enough pandemic influenza
vaccine for any person in the United States who wants to be vaccinated within six months of a pandemic
declaration. Until this goal is met, Federal, State, local and tribal governments, communities, and the pri
vate sector will need guidance on who should be vaccinated earlier during the pandemic to best protect
our people, communities, and country.
Issues to consider in drafting guidance on pandemic influenza vaccination are different and more com
plex than in developing recommendations for annual vaccination against seasonal influenza. In contrast
with seasonal influenza, during a pandemic nobody in the population is likely to have immunity to the
virus, many more people will become ill, and rates of severe illness, complications and death are likely
to be much higher and more widely distributed throughout the population. The greater frequency and
severity of disease will increase the burden on health care providers and institutions and may disrupt