Health Officials Announce H1N1 Vaccine Soon to Become Widely Available

Restrictions limiting the H1N1 flu vaccine to high-risk groups could be lifted in many U.S. states now that production of the vaccine has increased, state health officials said Monday.

Illinois could open up vaccinations to the general public as soon as Friday, while Oregon plans to re-evaluate the progress of its vaccination program next week, representatives of those states' public health agencies said. Arizona also wants to open its vaccine stocks, but some of its large counties need more time to make sure high-risk populations get vaccinated, said interim Department of Health Services Director Will Humble.

Good news for those in need of a swine flu shot: The H1N1 vaccine will soon be more widely available.

Restrictions limiting the vaccine to certain high-risk groups could be lifted as early as Friday in some states, reports CNN.com. Health officials said Monday that an increase in the vaccination production means states will be able to re-evaluate their progress with the vaccine.

The Maryland Department of Health and Mental Hygiene says the swine flu vaccine is now available to all Maryland residents.

The vaccine is available at county health departments Tuesday and will be shipped to pharmacies.

Vaccinations are available Tuesday and Wednesday at the Maryland State Fairgrounds in Timonium and Friday at the Enoch Pratt Free Library in downtown Baltimore.