Monday, November 2, 2009

H1N1 vaccine - for me, at least

I've been checking with my provider once in a while to find out if they have the H1N1 vaccine yet, and they don't. They also have no clue when they'll get it and no way to let me know if they do, so I was told to keep checking.

I was sticking with this method because I didn't want to use up a free clinic spot. I have insurance so why not use it? There are people who are at risk who have no other option, and I didn't want to take it away from someone else.

Thing is, the free clinics have been the only place to get them, and the roll-out to the rest of us has seen delays. (This is all California - things are different in other states.) Drug stores have been promised them, providers have been promised them, (I believe Kaiser did get some, but we're with Aetna) and nothing is happening yet.

Today there was a big news item saying that pregnant women only need one shot of the vaccine for it to be effective. Seeing this I knew I should act faster to get it. The more press this gets the longer it will take to get the shot.

I checked with Aetna's site which only said that wherever I get the shot, I will be compensated, but that they aren't the ones offering it. Since there seems to be no other choice at this time, I checked out the public clinic situation.

I found an appointment-based program for pregnant women. I called, sat on hold for less than 10 minutes, and got an appointment for Wednesday, first thing in the morning (I'm hoping that means no delays). So much easier than I thought it would be, after seeing the reports of long lines and places running out.

We're going to try get Greg an early shot as well, based on a few factors. If you are caring for a child less than 6 months old you're another front of the line candidate. Not sure whether that includes in utero, but having a pregnant wife should count for something.

Again, it's a bummer that I'm "taking a shot away" from someone who really needs it for free, but I've seen enough about the risks to feel more secure getting this done ASAP. I have close contact with dozens of people every day at our very public desk - otherwise, I might feel ok waiting for my provider to catch up.

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