H1N1 flu: County opening 4 clinics for those who most need shots

October 20, 2009 at 11:02 am | In Health, Swine flu, West Seattle news, White Center | 40 Comments

Just in from King County Public Health: The county will open four clinics to provide H1N1 vaccine to people with “significant health problems” and without health insurance. One of them is in White Center. Read on for the official announcement – which also includes info about a county flu hotline for everyone, starting tomorrow (877-903-KING):

As private providers begin to receive H1N1 influenza vaccine for their patients at highest risk for complications, starting Wednesday, October 21, Public Health – Seattle & King County is making vaccinations available for people without health insurance who are at increased risk because they have significant health problems.

Four Public Health vaccination clinics will be open to people up through 64 years of age who have significant health problems that put them at greater risk for serious complications for H1N1. Examples would include heart disease, lung disease, asthma, kidney disease, diabetes and HIV/AIDS.

Most children and pregnant women have public or private health care coverage, so it is anticipated that the clinics will primarily serve uninsured adults. People over age 65 are at relatively low risk for H1N1 influenza and so should not seek vaccination at this time.

For people who have health insurance, local health care providers are receiving initial, small shipments of vaccine for their existing patients who need protection most. Vaccine availability from health care providers is expected to improve gradually as additional supplies arrive in upcoming weeks.

Public Health clinic details

Four Public Health H1N1 vaccination clinics will be operated at the following locations:

White Center Public Health Center ( 10821 8th Ave SW , Seattle )
Alder Square Public Health Center (1404 Central Ave S., Suites 101 & 112, Kent)
North Public Health Center ( 10501 Meridian Ave N. , Seattle )
Federal Way Public Health Center ( 33431 13th Place S. , Federal Way )

All clinics will be open 8:30 a.m. – 5:30 p.m. on Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday and Fridays and 8:30 a.m. – 7:00 p.m. on Thursday. All clinics are walk-up and appointments will not be needed or scheduled. Visit the Public Health H1N1 influenza website at www.kingcounty.gov/health/H1N1 for clinic directions.

Vaccinations at these clinics will continue over time, pending vaccine availability from the federal government.

Clinic locations may also expand with demand. As supply increases, more vaccine will be available in Public Health clinics and other community locations. The Public Health website will be updated regularly with information on vaccine availability.

Last Friday, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) announced that vaccine production is proceeding slower than originally expected, which will result in smaller amounts of vaccine in ongoing deliveries over the next two months.

Call center activation

Beginning Wednesday morning, October 21, the Flu Hotline at 877-903-KING (5464) will be staffed with operators to answer questions about H1N1 influenza and provide information about Public Health – Seattle & King County vaccine clinic locations for people without insurance and with significant health problems. Hours of operation with operators will be 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. weekdays; recorded information will be available 24 hours a day.

40 Comments

  1. So what’s it cost? The local sliding scale clinics tell me it could be 2 or 3 weeks before they have any.

    Clickable link:
    http://www.kingcounty.gov/healthservices/health/preparedness/pandemicflu/swineflu.aspx

    Comment by Ken — 11:28 am October 20, 2009 #

  2. I called Matias Valenzuela in KCPH communications to be sure I was correct in assuming that the answer to your question is “free.” He confirmed, yes, they are free, but again, to those with “significant” health problems, and no insurance – TR

    Comment by WSB — 11:38 am October 20, 2009 #

  3. well, before you make that decision, get some information, especially for children:

    http://articles.mercola.com/sites/articles/archive/2009/10/06/Why-You-Should-NOT-Vaccinate-Your-Children-Against-the-Flu-This-Season.aspx

    Comment by k2 — 11:42 am October 20, 2009 #

  4. Please use legitimate medical science to make your decisions on the H1N1 vaccine.
    .
    http://www.sciencebasedmedicine.org/?p=2116

    Comment by Kayleigh — 12:05 pm October 20, 2009 #

  5. K2
    I counted 9 absolute lies in that article, which is on a pay site and comes from the lew rockwell conspiracy theory site. (use google cache and click the text only link on the right if you want to see this drivel.)

    I apologize if you suffer from brain damage since that means you cannot help it.

    The real info for non reality challenged people.

    http://www.cdc.gov/FLU/protect/keyfacts.htm

    Comment by Ken — 12:22 pm October 20, 2009 #

  6. Thank you for the research and link, Ken. I am backed up on writing at the moment and am a little challenged in the comment-truth-squad duties – TR

    Comment by WSB — 12:26 pm October 20, 2009 #

  7. Thanks Ken. I also found some good links for people who prefer to get their information from sources that don’t prattle on about “brainwashing the public”, “propaganda”, and conspiracy theories about patent dates. Try these:

    WebMD swine flu vaccine FAQ

    Johns Hopkins Institute for Vaccine Safety, specifically the package inserts for the four different vaccines available.
    CDC H1N1 flu vaccine
    Google flu trends

    Comment by owen — 12:29 pm October 20, 2009 #

  8. WSB- is there a way for you to edit comments?
    while there may be truth to some of Ken’s comments (I haven’t done the google cache to see what is on that pay site), calling someone names seems to cross the line. can you keep Ken’s useful comments and links and take out the last 2 sentences ? calling people stupid doesn’t do much to make someone sound reasonable.

    Comment by sam — 1:01 pm October 20, 2009 #

  9. Wow, the article that k2 posted contains almost no (if any) accurate information. Information regarding the safety of h1n1 and seasonal flu vaccines is readily available. There is no evidence that either of the vaccines are harmful and no evidence that any vaccine causes autism.

    Comment by Jay — 1:01 pm October 20, 2009 #

  10. Another link concerning the link site:

    http://www.quackwatch.org/11Ind/mercola.html

    Comment by Ken — 1:11 pm October 20, 2009 #

  11. I’m suffering from a case of H1N1 flu right now. Today is day seven of not feeling well.
    Ken was right on in getting the accurate website information posted here for the rest of you without this flu yet.
    K2 should be ashamed in posting that drivel.
    Read the government information from the federal level (CDC) or the County level (Seattle King County Public Health Department) or contact your own doctor. Do not rely on questionable or downright false websites.

    Comment by Hello?? — 1:14 pm October 20, 2009 #

  12. Leaving the safety of the vaccines aside (totally safe, BTW), any info on when the vaccine might reach providers? As of today, Swedish West Seattle still doesn’t have any. Their swine flu info message dates from last week. I have an 18 month old that I want to get vaccinated ASAP, but I also don’t have time to stalk the pediatrician’s office.

    Comment by carterbiosea — 1:20 pm October 20, 2009 #

  13. Here’s an AP story on an avail with the state health sec’y yesterday – should be abundant by mid-Nov., she says. However, I would think there’d be a higher priority on risk groups like very young/very old?
    http://seattletimes.nwsource.com/html/localnews/2010095483_apwaswinefluvaccine3rdldwritethru.html

    Comment by WSB — 1:42 pm October 20, 2009 #

  14. I was able to put my daughter on a waiting list at Swedish Childrens. They did tell me that if I come across another opportunity to get vaccinated, within the meantime, to take it! That’s sort of scary! I tried to get one at Highline and they said to keep trying back and they did not have a waiting list. Again with the kind of scary factor!

    Comment by bsmomma — 1:48 pm October 20, 2009 #

  15. re “I would think there’d be a higher priority on risk groups like very young/very old?”
    ~
    actually the very old are low priority with the H1N1; my nurse and specialists on news say anyone born prior to 1950 should have good immunity; I am borderline, born 1952, and really want to get the vaccine, but my clinic will not take any names on wait list, and the priority when H1N1 does become available is health care workers, youth and pregnant women
    ~
    and I am not allowed to get first run of H1N1, which is nasal form; they will not give it to anyone over 49
    ~
    thank god I was able to get regular flu shot last week, since I am in 2 risk groups, work with babies and 57 yrs old

    Comment by Diane — 2:43 pm October 20, 2009 #

  16. I am stalking the West Seattle offices. I find it CRAZY that it’s taking this long and that no one can get high risk folks in (who do have insurance).

    Comment by r26 — 2:49 pm October 20, 2009 #

  17. Thanks, Diane. I’ll look for the official links on that before spouting off again. In chat with friends in the health-care industry a couple nights ago, they mentioned very young/very old … TR

    Comment by WSB — 2:51 pm October 20, 2009 #

  18. P.S. It was suggested to me not long ago that there be a breakout spot here for info on flu shots. I wasn’t sure we had the resources at the time but it’s clearly high interest and therefore should be high priority. Will work on a FLU page. Any particular info anyone’s been looking for and can’t find, that I might pursue with health authorities? – TR

    Comment by WSB — 2:53 pm October 20, 2009 #

  19. A flu page would be great. Links tracking rates of H1N1 in King County would be helpful. I had a wicked flu that lasted 2 weeks this month and have no idea if it was H1N1 or not.

    Comment by Kayleigh — 3:27 pm October 20, 2009 #

  20. When will we be able to get it (those of us with insurance)?
    Will there be enough for everyone who wants one?
    Will there be children’s shots available?

    Comment by r26 — 3:31 pm October 20, 2009 #

  21. re “In chat with friends in the health-care industry a couple nights ago, they mentioned very young/very old … TR”
    ~
    yes that is true of regular flu; the H1N1 is very different in many ways
    ~
    what I heard on news is that the H1N1 is similar to a flu strain in early 1900′s so people 60+ yrs old likely to have built-in immunity, or they got shots back then? that’s why they think it’s mostly very young people getting sick/dying from H1N1

    Comment by Diane — 3:55 pm October 20, 2009 #

  22. when I got flu shot last week and asked about H1N1, to get on wait list, and thought I was in risk group; my nurse said being almost 60 puts me way down the list for H1N1

    Comment by Diane — 3:59 pm October 20, 2009 #

  23. Taken from CDC website:

    CDC’s Advisory Committee on Immunization Practices (ACIP) has recommended that certain groups of the population receive the 2009 H1N1 vaccine when it first becomes available. These target groups include pregnant women, people who live with or care for children younger than 6 months of age, healthcare and emergency medical services personnel, persons between the ages of 6 months and 24 years old, and people ages of 25 through 64 years of age who are at higher risk for 2009 H1N1 because of chronic health disorders or compromised immune systems.

    Comment by zero-to-life in West Seattle — 4:51 pm October 20, 2009 #

  24. Thanks! Since it’s government copy we can excerpt at will. Sounds like a good paragraph for close to the top of forthcoming flu page – TR

    Comment by WSB — 4:53 pm October 20, 2009 #

  25. thanks for cdc info; so according to that, I’m in the priority group of “people who live with or care for children younger than 6 months of age”; now if I could only get access to the H1N1 shots
    ~
    so looks like folks older than 64 are at least risk of H1N1
    ~
    does it mention anywhere in that cdc advisory that those of us in priority group over age 49 have to wait for shots to come available, since they won’t allow us to use the nasal vaccine

    Comment by Diane — 8:40 pm October 20, 2009 #

  26. more info re h1n1

    http://www.nytimes.com/2009/10/17/health/17flu.html?_r=1

    Looks like it is really moving faster even than predicted and is more harmful to certain groups.

    I am in one of those groups and I will be lining up at White Center asap.

    Comment by Ken — 11:44 pm October 20, 2009 #

  27. so, we haven’t heard from doctor yet that it is available (one child and one adult in high risk group)- and we have insurance. if these clinics get the shots first, are they requiring you to prove you don’t have health insurance ?

    Comment by sam — 7:57 am October 21, 2009 #

  28. Here is a link from the CDC that goes into detail about who should get the injection and who should get the spray. http://www.cdc.gov/h1n1flu/vaccination/vaccine_keyfacts.htm

    Comment by zero-to-life in West Seattle — 8:20 am October 21, 2009 #

  29. Re: sam – “are they requiring you to prove you don’t have insurance?”
    PLEASE don’t use the public health clinics to get a h1n1 shot if you have insurance. They have targeted those most at risk AND without insurance for a good reason… they don’t have insurance to cover the impact of getting the flu! These are scarce resources and we should act as a caring community and take care of those most at risk first. You will get your chance to get your shot.
    PS- Public Health Seattle King County will likely have to close the entire immunization program at the end of this year. Too bad, they are the most efficient at getting this sort of thing organized!

    Comment by Lorelee — 1:37 pm October 21, 2009 #

  30. I want to start by saying I’m very appreciative of KC Public Health providing free H1N1 immunizations… BUT, I feel very discriminated against when my 3 year old daughter, who IS in the high-risk category and who has insurance, can’t get a shot yet because there is no vaccine available at any place I have called. Our pediatrician’s office doesn’t think they’ll have it until mid-November. This is not right! This IS discrimatory folks.

    Comment by Penny — 2:31 pm October 21, 2009 #

  31. Penny- yeah that is what I kinda thought.

    based on my son’s recovery process from colds throughout his entire life (18 mos), (a lingering productive cough for several weeks, long after the other cold symptoms are gone), the doctor thinks maybe he has asthma. but yeah, the doctor doesn’t have any H1N1 flu shot yet.

    Comment by sam — 8:38 am October 22, 2009 #

  32. Penny: how is it discriminatory? Lorelee explained the rationale behind preferentially providing shots to the uninsured rather well, I think.

    Vaccines can only be manufactured so quickly.

    Comment by datamuse — 9:27 am October 22, 2009 #

  33. I, too, think that giving priority to those who are “uninsured” and in the high-risk category as opposed to insured children (who are also in the high-risk category) is discriminatory. I heard in Pierce co. that they’re giving the shots to the homeless first. I think that the homeless should get shots before healthy adults, but children should be first in line, no matter what.

    Comment by CC — 1:11 pm October 22, 2009 #

  34. Giving priority to the homeless or the uninsured, over high-risk children is an outrage. This is playing social-policy engineering games with our children’s health. The reality is that there is no H1N1 flu vaccine presently available for high-risk children, unless of course they fit the arbitrary, discriminaty category. What I really want to know is who allowed this rule to be promulgated, and who signed off on this? We the public deserve to know.

    Comment by RJD — 7:22 pm October 22, 2009 #

  35. The vaccine is available in a few north seattle pharmacies and public clinics, yet pediatricians and OB-GYNs don’t have the vaccine for high-risk pregnant women and children. WTF?

    Comment by Oliver — 8:52 pm October 22, 2009 #

  36. hospitals treat dying gunshot victims, accident victims, etc, regardless of whether they are insured or not, right?

    from the explanation (of why it is going to uninsured people first), it sounds like a gravely ill person with the swine flu would be turned away at the door, is that true?

    if so, then providing the shot first to uninsured makes a ton of sense.

    it also makes sense seeing as if someone doesn’t have insurance and gets ill, they will likely not stay away from work (if they have a job), or stay home from work to take care of a sick child, instead sending that kids to school or daycare or whatever, spreading it around.

    BUT, the H1N1 virus doesn’t care if you are an “at-risk uninsured” or an “at-risk insured”…….

    seems like they could distribute the limited quantities to the public health dept. AND the doctors offices to make sure it gets to all at-risk people asap. esp. since it takes a couple weeks to be effective.

    Comment by sam — 8:35 am October 23, 2009 #

  37. also, children under 10 need two doses of the swine flu vaccine, spaced ONE MONTH APART, for the medicine to work properly.

    however, King County decides that uninsured adults should get the vaccine first, over insured high risk children……….. ?
    how is that not discriminatory?

    Comment by sam — 12:17 pm October 23, 2009 #

  38. If you have the money to pay for health insurance, it is likely that you also have the money to protect your kids in other ways. Low-income individuals are put in a position where we have to take our kids to the community center, etc, because we have no where else for them to play. We are also unable to give our kids the best nutritional foundation to help them avoid getting sick in the first place, and we can’t keep them home if they begin to show symptoms of illness. Not only are we at a greater risk for getting sick, we are the ones who will be exposing your kids to the swine flu. Believe me, you want us vaccinated, ASAP.

    Comment by GS — 12:00 pm November 3, 2009 #

  39. Oh please. Let me cry a river for the uninsured. The cost of the vaccine is 0 and the cost of getting the vaccine at a hospital anywhere is minimal… if only the uninsured weren’t getting ALL of the available vaccine. NO. There should be absolutely NO priority given to “uninsured” and King County Health should either do all the deliveries or require no special status. Read my lips… the vaccine is free. Going down to the incompetent Health Dept… where they take all day to give vaccines (rate of 10/hour) and make you stay with lots of sick people… is the height of stupidity.

    King County Health needs to absolutely have a much better triage set up. FIRST… pregnant women, children with asthma and other chronic considtions….. NEXT other children, and adults with chronic conditions. Duh!

    No, GS, I do no believe you… I’ll gladly take your vaccine… and have already done so.

    Comment by Asthma Parent — 2:27 pm November 4, 2009 #

  40. since when does having health insurance mean that you have a lot of money ? (current health care debate aside).
    there are plenty of places that offer health insurance to part time employees. ever heard of Ikea, Costco ?
    correct me if I’m wrong, but I don’t think you get rich working there.

    the vaccine distribution should be about health care conditions, pregnancy, risk, etc.

    period.

    Comment by sam — 4:20 pm November 5, 2009 #

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