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Call your doctor to get swine flu vaccination, California officials say

Looking to get an H1N1 vaccination soon? Your best bet is to call your doctor.

California's first allotment of 400,000 H1N1 nasal spray vaccine began arriving in doctors' offices Monday, according to the state Department of Public Health. Doses will continue arriving through the end of the week, and go mostly to pediatrician, OB-GYN and family practice offices.

This is because the swine flu nasal spray vaccines are targeted at healthy children ages 2 to 9 and caretakers of infants under 6 months.

Pregnant women are another critical target group, but they can get only the shot form of the vaccine, which will arrive in mid-October. There should be about 200,000 doses available initially in California.

If you're not in those target populations, you may have to wait a little longer. State public health officials don't have an estimate as to when the vaccines will be widely available, but they say everybody will be able to get vaccinated in the next few months.

The vaccines are being shipped on a weekly basis, so if your health care provider doesn't have one available for you this week, ask next week.

The H1N1 vaccine also should be available outside of doctors' offices eventually. County public health departments plan to hold mass vaccination clinics, and pharmacies and other retail stores plan to administer the vaccine as well.

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