Will it be more of the same madness to get flu shots this year?

Getting a flu shot should be easier this fall since manufacturers had time to include protection from the H1N1 virus in the mix.

Many of the problems last year occurred because the swine-flu outbreak came after the seasonal vaccine was developed, said Dr. Dennis Cunningham, a member of the Section of Infectious Diseases at Nationwide Children's Hospital.

This year one vaccine will offer protection from seasonal flu and swine flu and it should be easy to come by, Cunningham said. "People should be able to get it at their doctor's office, the hospital and grocery stores and pharmacies."

That's good news, said Columbus mother Kathy Kincaid. She and her daughter Madison, then 2, waited in line for more than two hours to get their flu shots last fall.

"It was horrible," recalled Kincaid, who was also three months pregnant at the time. "I didn't realize the wait was going to be outside. It was chilly and we didn't have jackets."
Despite the wait, Kincaid said she was glad she and Madison received the vaccine. Neither of them got sick over the winter.

She's hoping to vaccinate Madison, now 3, and Elliott, who was born in May, at her pediatrician's office this fall.

Cunningham urged parents to vaccinate their children to prevent them from catching the flu, which can lead to hospitalization and, in some cases, death.