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Dates Uncertain For When H1N1 Shots Will Be Available To The Public

Last updated on Monday, October 12, 2009

(UNDATED) - Vaccinations for H1N1 flu have begun, but it’s still not certain when the shots will be available to the general public.

Indiana has received the ninth-largest supply of vaccine in the nation.

Assistant State Health Commissioner James Howell says the federal government is allocating doses based on population, but Indiana moved up a few notches based on state and county health departments' readiness to get the vaccine distributed efficiently.

The first shipment of vaccine is just a few thousand doses, and was earmarked for people considered at highest risk.

Marion County put doctors and nurses in critical-care units at the front of the line.

Howell says other counties are routing doses to pediatricians or schools, or to obstetricians to administer to pregnant women.

People with chronic diseases, people under 25, and people in close contact with babies are also in high-priority groups.

Marion County Health Director Virginia Caine has said she expects widespread distribution to begin in the final week of October.

Howell says that's a reasonable estimate, but no firm date has been set.

Visiting nurse service spokeswoman Heather Hughet says VNS has already made arrangements with a couple of suburban Indianapolis school systems for a school-wide inoculation day once vaccine is available.

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