Ore. shifts flu vaccine priority to higher risk

PORTLAND — The Oregon swine flu vaccination program is shifting priority toward children and adults considered at higher risk because of underlying or chronic medical conditions.

Dr. Mel Kohn, the Oregon public health director, said Friday that recent data suggest that children and young adults from 5 to 24 in the original target group can wait until more vaccine arrives.

Kohn says that county health departments will give priority to children and adults from 5 to 64 who suffer from chronic medical problems such as asthma because they appear to be at higher risk.

Kohn says shipments of H1N1 vaccine are smaller than expected across the nation partly because it has proven more difficult to manufacture.

By midweek, just over 1,000 people had been hospitalized in Oregon with influenza-like illness while 33 people had died.

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