My family has been trying for weeks to get the H1N1 vaccine but the few clinics that have been held around the Milwaukee area have been mobbed.

Now we learn that all clinics for the next few weeks are cancelled because there is no vaccine to be had. Even high risk groups such as pregnant women are learning that the vaccine is not available at their doctor's office or anywhere else.

So imagine our surprise when we learned that the H1N1 vaccine is available for prisoners in Wisconsin's correctional system. Apparently, prisoners throughout the system have had access to the vaccine

But John Dipko of the Wisconsin Department of Corrections told in Green Bay that the department is just following procedure. "The actions that we've taken and the individuals we've focused on are consistent with those vulnerable populations that have been focused on in communities throughout the state."

There are a fair number of Wisconsinites who don't agree. Why should the prison population have better access to health care than the general public? For many people, especially high risk groups, it amounts to rationing under rules no one understands.

I continue to look for the vaccine for my 7-year-old and my two older children. My husband who works as a teacher is likely to get the flu long before we can get the shot. Maybe I'll just have him rob a bank so he can get a vaccine in the House of Corrections.

Barbara Bartlein is the People Pro. For her FREE e-mail newsletter, please visit: The People Pro

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