Public Health

Swine Flu Vaccine Gets Easier To Find

If you've been putting off getting immunized against the new H1N1 virus because the vaccine was too hard to come by, it's time to reconsider.

Nurses prepare swine flu vaccine. i i

Nurses in Indianapolis prepare the swine flu vaccine at a clinic in October. Darron Cummings/AP hide caption

itoggle caption Darron Cummings/AP
Nurses prepare swine flu vaccine.

Nurses in Indianapolis prepare the swine flu vaccine at a clinic in October.

Darron Cummings/AP

Federal officials say 100 million doses of vaccine have been shipped, and public health authorities are easing restrictions that reserved the shots for people at high risk, such as pregnant women and kids.

"We finally have enough vaccine that for most of you, it's your turn," Health and Human Services Secretary Kathleen Sebelius said Thursday. The day before she got her swine flu shot.

Vaccination priority lists are still a state by state issue. There's enough vaccine already kicking around for more than 24 states to open up shots to everyone, the Los Angeles Times reports. Massachusetts started offering vaccine to all comers Thursday.

Despite a growing supply of shots, interest in vaccination may be waning. Swine flu illnesses have dropped off quite a bit lately, with only 14 states reporting widespread flu during the week ended Dec. 5., according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

Still, public health official remain on guard against a resurgence of swine flu and recommend that people get vaccinated.

Some big drugstore chains are offering the swine flu vaccine more widely now, with
Walgreens saying it would have vaccine available in every state by the end of December.

To locate flu shots in your neck of the woods, try Google's nifty flu shot finder. If you've ever used Google Maps, you can use this.



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