The Department of Health and Human Services has designed an emergency response plan in the case of a bird flu pandemic, which proposes creating four categories of people to be immunized with the bird flu vaccine, and vaccinating the top tier of each category first. The categories are homeland and national security, critical infrastructure, health and community support services and the general population--deployed military troops, emergency workers, pregnant women and children and among those who will receive first access to vaccines.
Companies are working to make a vaccine against H5N1, but the fact is that when a pandemic hits, scientists won't be able to develop a truly effective vaccine until they have samples of the pandemic virus strain--once the pandemic is already under way. Because of this, the U.S. government has recognized the need to prioritize which groups will have access to limited vaccine supplies!
The plan is going to be released at public meetings and online, for public review and revisions. It's going to be interesting to see how this plays out!