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Cold, Flu, & Cough Health Center

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How to Get H1N1 Swine Flu Vaccine

Perseverance, Patience, Priority Status Key to Finding Flu Shots


"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 close."

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 four weeks.

Looking for H1N1 Swine Flu Vaccine

Like the Kiblingers, millions of Americans are getting flu shots and flu sniffs. Here's how they are doing it -- and how you can maximize your odds of finding H1N1 swine flu vaccine for eligible family members.

The first step should be to check the web site. There's a map of the United States; click on your state and you'll find links to your state health department.

At this point, residents of different states will have different experiences. Some states offer information only about public vaccine providers (not all states allocate vaccine to private providers); others list both public and private providers. Some states have links to local health departments, and those local departments have information about where and when vaccination clinics will be held.

Whichever experience you have, it's a good idea to use your telephone -- frequently. Regularly check with your local health department and with vaccine providers in your area. If you want to see how much vaccine is flowing into your state, check the CDC's 2009 H1N1 influenza vaccine supply status web page.

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