If the United States is hit by a flu pandemic, pregnant women, babies and toddlers would be included with emergency workers, doctors and soldiers as priority recipients of vaccine, says a draft federal government plan to be released Tuesday.
Next in line would be older children and utility workers. At the bottom of the list are healthy young adults and the elderly, the Associated Press reported.
The rankings reflect growing consensus that stopping a flu pandemic requires an emphasis on protecting those who care for the sick and maintain crucial services, and those who are most likely to spread the flu.
"Children are not only highly susceptible to influenza, children are also very good at spreading it. Protecting them also protects those in the population," said William Raub, emergency planning chief at the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, the AP reported.