People who live with or care for infants younger than 6 months of age
Health care workers and emergency medical personnel
Anyone age 6 months to 24 years of age
Anyone age 25 to 64 with certain chronic medical conditions
State and local health departments may further restrict eligibility until
But there are some 154 million U.S. residents in these groups -- and so far,
only 38 million doses have been available to states. About 10 million more
doses have been flowing into states each week.
To be one of the millions of people getting the vaccine, you'll have to work
at it. That's no surprise to most people who've tried to find the vaccine. A
Harvard poll released today shows that 41% of parents tried to get the vaccine
for their kids; two-thirds failed.
The good news is that only 29% of parents said they were very frustrated --
and 91% said they'd try, try again.
That's how Angie Kiblinger got
shots of the H1N1 swine vaccine for herself -- she's seven months
pregnant -- and for her 18-month-old daughter, Hazel.
Kiblinger, who lives in Hillsboro, Ore., last week checked with her
obstetrician and her pediatrician. Neither one had the vaccine or knew where
she and Hazel could get it. So Kiblinger, who is enrolled in the WIC program, a
federal program that provides medical and nutritional assistance, called her
local WIC clinic. The news was good: They told her they had it.
On the appointed day, last Friday, Kiblinger went to the clinic. She waited
in line. She got to the front of the line. But the it turned out the clinic had
only the inhaled version of the vaccine, which is not approved for pregnant
women or kids under age 2.
Going back to the drawing board, Kiblinger checked the web site of her
county health department. There she easily found a list of public clinics
offering the H1N1 swine flu vaccine. But there was a catch.
"They were holding clinics at local schools, and had a full calendar of
clinics -- but about half of them were postponed because they had not received
enough vaccine," Kiblinger tells WebMD. "But one, about two towns over, said
they'd have vaccine on Saturday from 10 a.m. to 1 p.m."
So on Saturday morning the Kiblinger family hopped in the car and got to the
clinic a half hour early. The line already was long.
"They said they had 700 doses, 400 of the spray and 300 of the injectable,"
Kiblinger says. "We waited in line two hours before they came out and started
counting people. Then they cut off the line -- and sent a bunch of people home
who were behind us. They said they couldn't be sure how much of each kind of
vaccine would be left when we got to the front of the line -- that it would be
Over the next hour, the Kiblingers wound their way through the clinic. When
they got to the front, she and her daughter got their shots. So far, so good:
Hazel will need two shots for protection, so she'll have to get another shot in