As a pregnant woman, I have made getting a flu shot a priority this season, but I have been appalled by the lack of coordination, information and availability of shots in this area.

I've run into lines of several hours, flu-shot clinics canceled at the last minute, and uninformed doctors and health departments. No one seems to know when and if additional flu shots will be available.

To further complicate things, I am allergic to one of the ingredients in most flu shots (thimerosal), so I have been trying to track down the thimerosal-free version. This allergy is not uncommon, but I have yet to find any doctor, health department or clinic that carries thimerosal-free flu shots. I've even contacted the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention to get the names of several manufacturers that produce a thimerosal-free version. None has any comprehensive listing of where it has distributed the shots. They all suggest that I just keep calling doctors, hospitals and clinics until I find it.

In a highly developed country such as the United States, I find this disturbing. More ought to be done to prepare for adequate vaccinations for all types of individuals, as well as to develop better coordination and information about the availability of the vaccines.

We can, and should, do much better.