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Table 5 Overview of rationales considered in EU and GSHAG countries to define vaccine priority groups A

From: Prioritization strategies for pandemic influenza vaccine in 27 countries of the European Union and the Global Health Security Action Group: a review

  AT BG CA CY CZ DK EE FI FR DE GR HU IE IT JP LT MT PL RO SK SI ES SE NL UK US
To reduce morbidity and mortality (1) X XB X . . XE . . . X . . X . . . . . X . X X . . X .
To save years of life . . . . . . . XF .   . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .
To prevent illness in the general population X . X . . XE . X .   . . . . . . . . . . . . . X X X
directly                           
- in individuals most vulnerable to severe illness . X X . . XE . . X   . . . . . XI X . . . . . X X X X
- in age groups most vulnerable to severe illness . . . . . . . . .   . . . . . . X . . . . . X . . .
- in health care workers at increased exposure risk* . . X . . XE X X X X X X . x . . . . X . . . X X X X
indirectly                           
- by preventing or minimising the spread of infection   .                       X   
to general population . . X . . . . . .   . . . . . . . . . . X . . . X  
to high risk individuals . . . . . XE . . . X . . . . . . . . . . . . X . X  
to immunocompromised and children . . . . . . . . .   . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . X
To maintain infrastructure and health care system (2) X X . . . . . . . X . . . XG . . . . . . . X . . X X
By maintaining the major work force .   X . . . . . .   . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .
By maintaining the essential community services . X X X . XE X . X   X X X X . X X . X . X . X X X X
which may include the following specified rationales:                           .
maintain service to implement pandemic response . . . XC . . X . X.   . . . . . . . . . . X . . . . X
maintain vaccine program . . X . . . . . .   . . . . . . . . X . . . X . . X
maintain essential health service response* . . X . . XE X X X   X X . XG . . X . X . . . X X X X
maintain security . . . . . . . . .   . . . . . X . . . . . . . . .  
Limiting social disruption (3) . X . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .
Limiting economic losses (4) . X . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .
Any rationale reported? X X X X D XE X X X X X X X X H X X H X J X X X X X X
Any rationale to 1? X X X . . XE X X X X X X X X . X X . X . X X X X X X
Any rationale to 2? X X X X . XE X X X X X X X X . X X . X . X X X X X X
Any rationale to 3? . X . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .
Any rationale to 4? . X . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .
  1. * To provide a complete overview and deal with different terminology of countries in specifying this rationale we have marked the rationale in both categories for each country specifying this rationale;
  2. A Level of detailed specification of rationales varied between the countries, as a result rationales in this table may overlap; B In more detail specified as "to reduce complications, necessity of hospitalizations and lethality"; C Specified followed: 'Covering those who are going to be actively involved in mastering a possible pandemic'; D National Influenza Pandemic Plan includes the following general statement: 'Vaccine Priority groups have been established according to clear, medical, social and economic reasons'; E National Influenza Pandemic Plan describes 5 strategies which are the basis for the different rationales to decide which vaccine groups will be prioritized; during the course of the pandemic decision will be made which strategies to follow; F Number of potential life years saved will be the most important determining factor for prioritization; G National Influenza Plan does not contain specific rationales, but rationales which set priorities as represented in this table were given through personal communication; H Rationales are under discussion; I Specified as individuals at highest risk of influenza; J National Influenza Pandemic plan does not contain specification of rationales for priority setting; personal communication reveals that the main principle is "to involve groups in the highest risk of infection, complication and death and groups in the population that are important for maintaining the public life".