Supplies of the H1N1 vaccine are low. The government expected large quantities of the vaccine would be available by mid-October, but so far only a fraction have rolled off the production line.
Part of the problem is manufacturers have had less time to make the H1N1 vaccine than they would typically have to produce the seasonal flu vaccine.
For now, as vaccines become available, most are being distributed to what the CDC has identified as high-priority groups:
Persons who live with or provide care for infants less than 6 months old
Health care and emergency medical services personnel
Persons aged 6 months to 24 years
Persons aged 25 to 64 years who have medical conditions that put them at higher risk for influenza-related complications.
The availability of new H1N1 vaccine is unpredictable and means staying on top of news of new shipments.
Here is what the Centers for Disease Control says about the H1N1 vaccine:
The committee recognized the need to assess supply and demand issues at the local level. The committee further recommended that once the demand for vaccine for these target groups has been met at the local level, programs and providers should begin vaccinating everyone from ages 25 through 64 years. Current studies indicate the risk for infection among persons age 65 or older is less than the risk for younger age groups. Therefore, as vaccine supply and demand for vaccine among younger age groups is being met, programs and providers should offer vaccination to people over the age of 65.
Saint Louis County will provide H1N1 vaccines to pregnant women who pre-register next weekend. For information about that clinic and where to learn about future vaccine clinics look here.
Here, you can find H1N1 vaccine information county by county in Illinois.
St. Charles County will post vaccine information here.
Information on other counties in Missouri can be found here as the vaccine becomes more available.
If you are in one of the risk groups, contact your doctor or local health department for information on vaccine availability.