Wednesday, November 4, 2009

For Want of a Flu Shot

If you live in Cook County, IL and want to get vaccinated against H1N1, good luck. It seems like it's been nothing but lines and problems and people being turned away when trying to get the vaccine that no one can get enough of. I know they've been having trouble, at least around here, getting enough of the vaccine in to fill demand, to the point where even healthcare professionals have had to wait.

Brandi's been pretty worried, understandably so, about getting the shot. We've got a 3-year-old, as well as a 4-week-old at home, not to mention her father, who has a compromised immune system. We do not need this germ in our home period.

It's been in the news that hundreds of people are turned away at the vaccination clinics, and then we found out you have to make an appointment. There are numbers set up, based on where you live to schedule a vaccination appointment. I've been calling. And calling. And when I'm done calling, I call some more.

Last Friday, when I was able to get onto the automated system, I waited on hold for an hour and 45 mintues, being told every couple of minutes that my call would be answered in the order it was received. Finally, I couldn't wait on hold any longer and I had to go. Then Monday, Tuesday and today I've been calling, getting a busy signal every time. Eventually, I called the County's Department of Public Health. The very friendly woman there gave me another couple of numbers to call after taking my address. I would imagine that there are a lot of hysterical people calling into these numbers, so for the woman who answered to be pleasant and polite was very nice, and not what I was expecting. I proceeded to call the numbers she had given me and got back onto another automated system where I sat on hold. I was loathe to leave the phone while on hold, but nonetheless, there were times when I would have to run to another part of the building and drop something off, or check with someone else for something.

After a little over an hour, finally, I got a ring. I snatched the phone off of speaker phone to make sure I didn't miss the person on the other end. I told her that I wanted to get the shot for Brandi, Logan and myself. She asked how old Brandi is, and when I told her, her immediate response was "She doesn't apply, you can't get the shot." Right now the only people getting the shot are in the high-risk category, which, among other factors, includes parents/caregivers with children less than 6 months old, children 6 months to X (I don't remember what age) and people with immunity issues. "Wait, wait, wait," I told her, "we have a four-week-old and a three-year-old at home, we apply."

So she took my information, and now we're all set. What an ordeal. At least now, come Monday afternoon, we won't have to worry so much about H1N1 invading the home any more.

1 comment:

Konstantin B. said...

We were in luck, that our family doctor, knowing we have an infant, contacted us, as soon a she got the vaccines.