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The impact of prioritisation and of timing of vaccination strategies on reducing transmission of pandemic influenza A(H1N1) was evaluated in a community with the structure of the Greek population using a stochastic simulation model. Prioritisation scenarios were based on the recommendations of the United States Centers' for Disease Control and Prevention Advisory Committee on Immunization Practices and vaccination was assumed to initiate either before or during the ongoing epidemic. In the absence of intervention, an illness attack rate (AR) of 34.5% is anticipated. Vaccinating the priority groups before the epidemic (pregnant women, people who live with or care for children <6 months of age, healthcare/emergency services personnel, children 6 months-4 years old and high-risk children 5-18 years old) will have a negligible impact on the overall AR. Vaccinating the recommended groups before the epidemic (priority groups as well as all persons 6 months-24 years old and high-risk individuals 25-64 years old) is anticipated to result in overall and age-specific ARs within the range of seasonal influenza (5%-15%). Initiating vaccination early during the epidemic (AR≤1% of the population) is predicted to result in overall ARs up to 15.2%-19.9% depending on daily vaccination coverage rates. When vaccination is initiated at a later stage (AR: 5%), only coverage of 80% of the whole population at intensive daily vaccination rates would be able to reduce ARs to approximately 15%. .


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