Allocating Influenza Vaccines in Minnesota

A well-written and valuable guide on the ethics of influenza vaccine distribution was the product of a multidisciplinary work group composed of public health professionals, ethicists, healthcare providers, and legal experts. The aim of the work group was to provide ethical guidance for Minnesota’s statewide pandemic planning efforts, and the group chose to focus on ethical distribution of vaccine as a scarce resource. The report comprehensively discusses the ethical issues surrounding vaccine distribution and establishes tiers for vaccination priority during a pandemic. One reviewer mentioned that the discussion about high-risk populations does not include day care providers or college students. The reviewer’s concern was that provision of day care may be essential to first responders and government officials who require childcare so that they can participate in the response. The report addresses many challenges occurring within the preparedness field, and it may be a helpful guide for jurisdictions that are formulating policy for making ethical decisions on limited vaccine distribution.

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