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Photo by peapodsquadmom

Holiday Season is flu season and vaccines have been in short supply. If you’re in the United States and looking for information about where to get vaccinated, look no further.

The U.S. Department of Health & Human Services
has set up www.Flu.Gov, and in partnership with Google, the CDC and state and local health departments, they’ve included a flu shot locator map along with their website’s search function to list locations and resources by state. You can even check out Homeland Security’s National Strategy for Pandemic Influenza, a document dated 2005 with an introduction by our previous president. The fun never ends.

Feel like getting really paranoid? Check out the “Health Map” and you will probably discover that H1N1 is “widespread” in your state, but look a little closer and you’ll see that you can click “State Resources” in the upper left corner of your screen. Click your state to find resources for where you can get the traditional and the H1N1 vaccine, and where you can find out how to volunteer to distribute the vaccine yourself.

Photo by Y

Some locations are only offering the vaccine to the very old, the very young, pregnant women and those with a compromised immune system. Make sure to call in advance to check availability before you waste time as information from these resources is subject to change.

Perhaps the day has come when big government can help by aggregating information with small government for the greater good of all. I’m not holding my breath, though. A quick search in my home state (Kentucky) reveals two error messages, both on the H1N1 links.

In the meantime, while you may be waiting for your chance to get a flu shot (or both of them as is recommended this year), follow the advice of the Staple Singers and “put your hand on your mouth when you cough,” make sure to wash up afterwards, and stay home when you’re sick.


For more information on keeping flu-free, navigate to Fight Flu for loads of practical information. Still unsure whether or not to get a flu-shot? Check out Vaccine Myths to help ease your mind.

Health + Lifestyle


About The Author

Kate Sedgwick

Editor-at-large, Kate Sedgwick, works from Buenos Aires where she organizes her live storytelling project, Second Story Buenos Aires. Read more about her than you might want to know at her blog, and follow her infrequent tweets @KateSedgwick.

  • aelle

    They’re rationing the vaccines here in France. Toddlers, elderly people and asthma patients have been vaccined, from now on middle schoolers in major cities can receive the shot. I haven’t had a chance to get it, and it’s too late for me, I already went through H1N1. I am still alive, but it definitely was not a pleasant way to spend my week.

  • dfinepa

    Hmmm. Was this post sponsored by GlaxoSmithKline?!

    • Leigh Shulman

      Lol, dfinepa, and I should hope not.

      Yes, this article does weigh on what can seem like the pro-vax side of things, but really, it’s more about simply letting people know where to get it. I say this as the editor who read and approved this article for publication.

      I personally tend away from vaccines, both in choices I make for myself and my child. I don’t plan to get the H1N1 and think people should research it carefully before making the decision to get one. But if at the end of it all, they want to, they should know where to get it.

      • dfinepa

        Leigh – you are of course right that people should have the information at their fingertips, and I take your point. I was just slightly taken aback by how pro-vaccine this article was on first reading.

        • Leigh Shulman

          When I originally read the article, prior to publication, I took it more along the lines of how much the media is shoving the vaccine down our throats. After seeing your comment, I can also completely understand how you saw it the way you did.

          I’m glad you took the time to say something. I like to think that, if anything, the articles coming from Life would be even handed. You gave us the chance to make that clear.

  • Candice Walsh

    Hahaha yeah, I think the flu-shot finder is a pretty awesome idea, whether you intend to get the vaccine or not, provided it all works properly. There’s a severe lack of information in my city…I believe there’s only one place set up to get vaccines and it’s located in the east-end, it’s kinda bizarre.

  • AngelineM

    Please note: Do NOT cough into your hand… the “vampire” cough with your arm stretched across your face and cough into the crook of your arm; this way if you don’t have the place to wash your hands right away you’re not infecting everything you touch. Thanks, Nancy Nurse

  • Julie

    I’m not pro-vax at all, but as the mother of a two month old living in a city where swine flu cases have been prevalent, I got the shot yesterday.

    • Leigh Shulman

      I guess it’s easier for me to sit here in sunny summertime Argentina and talk about how I’m not getting the vaccine. Also, a two month old is different than a 5 year old.

      Still, it’s tough to parse the difference between truth and hysteria in the media. I know many who have had it badly, but then others may have had lighter cases and not realized it was swine flu.

      But then, I have the same questions when it comes to all the vaccines recommended (almost mandated) for children in the US. Oddly, though, adults — with the exception of swine an regular flus — tend not to worry about their own vax schedules in the same way.

  • joshua johnson

    I think I will get the shot if only because I don’t have health insurance and a shot in the arm is better than a visit to the ER. My sister in law, nephew and three close friends in Seattle had it…

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