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Eur J Epidemiol. 1994 Aug;10(4):503-5.

Pandemic planning in Canada.

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  • Perth District Health Unit, Stratford, Ontario, Canada.


A Canadian plan for pandemic influenza was completed by the National Advisory Committee on Immunization in 1988. Its development took several years and involved consultation with provincial public health and laboratory authorities, the licensing body, manufacturers of influenza vaccine and antiviral agents, and representatives in the USA and UK. Key decisions in creating the pandemic plan include: (1) aiming for federal-provincial consensus on use of vaccine and antiviral drugs, (2) a selective vaccination approach (high-risk persons plus essential workers), (3) bulk purchasing and distribution of vaccine through the public sector, (4) leaving antiviral drugs on the open market, (5) careful planning of the communications strategy, and (6) increasing inter-pandemic use of flu vaccine in target groups. The plan addresses recognition of a pandemic; activation of a Pandemic Influenza Committee whose membership and responsibilities are spelled out; the federal-provincial decision making process; influenza vaccine considerations; amantadine and other antiviral agents; estimates of target group size, vaccine uptake, manufacturing capabilities and time frames; and communication considerations. Since 1988, influenza vaccine use has increased considerably in Canada and experience has been gained with amantadine. Manufacturing capability within Canada for influenza vaccine has also been enhanced. It is now time to update the plan, especially the targets, and to make sure that everyone involved remains aware of the assigned roles.

[PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]
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