Pandemic influenza preparedness and vulnerable populations in tribal communities.


American Indian and Alaska Native (AIAN) governments are sovereign entities with inherent authority to establish and administer public health programs within their communities and will be critical partners in national efforts to prepare for pandemic influenza. Within AIAN communities, some subpopulations will be particularly vulnerable during an influenza pandemic because of their underlying health conditions, whereas others will be at increased risk because of limited access to prevention or treatment interventions.We outline potential issues to consider in identifying and providing appropriate services for selected vulnerable populations within tribal communities. We also highlight pandemic influenza preparedness resources available to tribal leaders and their partners in state and local health departments, academia, community-based organizations, and the private sector.