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Pregnant women priority for H1N1 vaccine

October 27, 2009 12:52:57 AM PDT
Out of a long line of people considered most at-risk of getting the H1N1 virus, pregnant women are considered top priority at vaccination clinics.Pregnant Laila Ben stood in line at a clinic at El Camino College in Compton. She is due next week.

"They told me I should get it before delivery or after, so I prefer to do it before to be safe," she said.

George Macias and his son waited in line for more than eight hours at a clinic in Downey.

"It's so important right now because what's going on right now," said Macias. "We're hearing about a lot of people coming down with it and I am worried about my children."

The L.A. County Health Department says it's only giving the vaccine to people who fit into certain priority groups, until more doses arrive.

The L.A. County Health Department is only giving the vaccine to people who fit into certain priority groups until more doses arrive due to a nationwide shortage.

"We have to be fair and make sure that this gets into the people who most need it, who are highest risk for hospitalization, highest risk for the complications," said Dr. Jonathan Fielding from the L.A. County Department of Health.

The groups include pregnant women, health care workers, emergency personnel, people who live with or care for infants under 6 months, children over 6 months, young adults and people 25 to 64 with underlying health problems.

At the clinic in Downey, workers say they are giving the shot to anyone under the age of 65 whether they are in the priority group or not. Richard Spalding fell into that category.

"In my opinion I should be able to get it. But in their opinion probably not," said Spalding. "I'm out here because I don't want to catch the swine flu."

Workers at the Downey clinic say they will most likely run out of the vaccine before the clinic is scheduled to close.


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