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Pandemic vaccine guidelines released

July 23, 2008 at 8:09 PM

WASHINGTON, July 23 (UPI) -- A vaccine allocation framework was released Wednesday by the U.S. federal government to avert an infrastructure collapse in the wake of a pandemic outbreak.

The Homeland Security and Health and Human Services departments jointly released the framework that dictates the distribution of vaccinations that officials say will minimize any disruption to the economy and society as a whole in the event of an influenza pandemic.

"A severe pandemic has the potential to disrupt our everyday way of life," Jeffrey Runge, DHS assistant secretary for health affairs, said in a statement.

"This guidance was developed to ensure that our nation's critical infrastructure remains up and running and we address the needs of all of our citizens, enabling the country to recover from a pandemic more quickly."

The framework outlines four groups that encompass the entire United States. First to receive vaccines during a pandemic outbreak include homeland and national security personnel, followed by those involved in healthcare and community support services. Next on the list is the critical infrastructure support, and lastly, officials say, the general population will be vaccinated.

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