WIUM Tristates Public Radio

Swine Flu Vaccine Available in October

Springfield, IL – Illinois residents who do not fall in the "priority population" will not be able to receive the swine flu (or H1N1) vaccine right away.

Those considered to be in the priority population are pregnant woman, people who are ages six months to 24 years, and people between the ages of 25 and 64 with a health condition. "These are the populations we have seen most severely impacted," says Illinois Department of Public Health Spokeswoman Melanie Arnold.

"In the meantime, people who are not a part of the priority population need to continue to practice the 3 C's, says Arnold. "Clean, cover, and contain. We encourage them to get their seasonal flu shot."

Arnold says eventually people in the non-priority population will be able to get the vaccine. "It's going to be somewhat of a fluid situation," says Arnold. "Basically was are going to be looking at who providers are administering to and talking to them to see if they believe they have served their priority populations. If so, then it will be opened up."

"Some schools may hold mass vaccination clinics for the H1N1 vaccine," Arnold says. "This is a decision that will be made in conjunction with local health departments. There are varying needs, challenges, and resources in each of these areas. They will have to decide if they have the resources necessary to hold a mass vaccination clinic."

There is no cost for the H1N1 vaccination. However, some places might charge an administrative fee. The vaccine will be available in mid-October. Illinois will receive roughly 2 million of the 45 million doses. The IDPH encourages people to get both the seasonal flu and H1N1 vaccine.

For more information on the seasonal flu and H1N1, visit the IDPH website.