This article in NEJM identifies the current method of prioritizing recipients of flu vaccines as ineffective, insofar as they do not prevent epidemics. Currently, those who are more susceptible to death from flu, i.e., the elderly, are encouraged to receive vaccinations before young adults, who have stronger immune systems. However, according to this article, flu vaccinations are recommended for groups that make up approximately 85% of the American population. The author of the article is in favor of universal vaccination, arguing that the resources are available, and a minimal increase in expenditures will prevent unexpected deaths in unlikely age groups.
Elaine Su 4/27/09