In the wake of the flu vaccine shortage,the Centers for Disease Control(CDC) and Prevention has established apermanent panel of ethicists on vaccinedistribution. The responsibility of thepanel is to help navigate the life-and-deathquestions of who should receivethe flu vaccines and how the agencyshould handle any future epidemics.
A question the group may eventuallycome up against is whether babiesshould have priority over seniors inreceiving the flu vaccine, or vice versa.Also, in the event of a pandemic,should members of crucial professionsreceive preferential treatment? Inbroad terms, the ethics committee hasalready agreed that only the veryyoung, the very old, and the chronicallyill should receive this year's supply.
State and local officials have arguedthat the limited supplies are so badthat they do not have enough to vaccinateeveryone in those categories.These officials said they want betterguidance from the CDC as to who isthe highest of the high-risk.