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Hospitals in Pinellas County, Fla., plan to give new parents a special reminder. On the newborn checklist -- infant car seat, going-home outfit -- comes a plea to get themselves vaccinated before discharge. Because newborns can't be vaccinated, "the only way to protect your baby is for Mom, Dad and the family to receive the vaccine," the flyer says.
By the end of October, Arizona expects 1 million doses on hand, enough for schools to start onsite vaccination programs, said Health Services Director Will Humble.
What about everybody else? Massachusetts officials are warning that people who aren't at high risk from swine flu may have to wait until November for an H1N1 shot.
In other states, officials are more optimistic. Milwaukee has earmarked its first shipment for health workers and its second for schoolchildren, kindergarten through high school.
Then by late October, "we should be able to open it up to anyone who wants it," said Milwaukee's disease-control chief, Paul Biedrzycki. "We're expecting two to three times the demand for seasonal flu vaccines."
This year brings an unusually complex vaccination schedule: Most people will need two different inoculations, one against regular winter flu and the H1N1 vaccine. Plus, children under 10 will need two H1N1 doses.
The federal government bought the nation's entire supply of H1N1 vaccine and is dividing doses as they arrive among states according to population. State health departments submit orders, and doses are shipped to the vaccination sites the states deemed able to quickly get shots into arms and squirts up noses -- a mix of doctors' offices, hospitals, drugstores and public clinics. CDC in turn will track those shipments to see how fast vaccine is used, and for whom, to ensure the populations at highest risk are vaccinated.
Copyright 2009 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.
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