8:36 PM NOTE: Just received an update from the county – published here – superseding all the earlier stuff here.
3:10 PM NOTE: As pointed out in comments — also in an e-mail and also in a school mailing list we’re on — there appears to be a discrepancy between what the county has sent out – and what the pharmacies are telling callers. King County Public Health spokesperson Matias Valenzuela tells WSB, “We’re looking into it.” So stand by for an update. Meantime, as commenters suggest, DON’T CALL YET – until this is straightened out by the county. Another spokesperson tells us they are “reconnecting with participating pharmacies” to find out what the discrepancy is about.
ORIGINAL 2:27 PM REPORT: An update from King County Public Health today – certain pharmacies around the county are now getting more H1N1 vaccine to make available to “people prioritized to receive” it. The list includes the two Walgreens (6330 35th SW and 9456 16th SW) stores in West Seattle – both by appointment, for ages 9 and up. Read on for the full countywide announcement:
To provide another option for people prioritized to receive H1N1 vaccine, selected King County pharmacies are receiving limited supplies to begin vaccinating. A total of 15,000 doses of vaccine have been allocated to pharmacies, with more available in future weeks.
Many of the 44 participating pharmacies are taking appointments by phone starting today; some will be holding walk-up clinics without appointment starting next week. The full list of participating pharmacies, including hours, types of vaccine available, vaccination age ranges and administrative fee, is posted at www.kingcounty.gov/healthservices/health/preparedness/pandemicflu/swineflu/locations. This site will be updated Monday through Friday by noon; people should contact pharmacies directly for the most up-to-date information.
With limited national vaccine supplies, Public Health – Seattle & King County has had to delay its plan to make vaccine widely available through community venues. As more vaccine becomes available, there will be additional sites for getting vaccinated, including community clinics.
“Making vaccine available through pharmacies is an important next step in protecting our community, but supplies at both pharmacies and health care providers will continue to be limited for at least several weeks,” said Dr. David Fleming, Director and Health Officer for Public Health – Seattle & King County . “Eventually there will be enough vaccine for everyone who wants to get vaccinated, but we are still dealing with limited vaccine supplies.”
With the latest deliveries this week, King County has received approximately 142,000 doses of vaccine. A new allocation of approximately 71,000 doses is being ordered for delivery to the county. Most of the vaccine is being made available through health care providers.
Pharmacy vaccination details
People eligible to receive vaccine through pharmacies include:
* Pregnant women
* People who live with or care for children younger than 6 months of age
* People between the ages of 6 months and 24 years old
* People between 25 through 64 years of age with chronic health conditions or weakened immune systems
* Healthcare and emergency workers with direct patient contact
The amount of H1N1 vaccine at pharmacies will be limited, with each pharmacy receiving a few hundred doses each. Vaccine will be re-supplied to pharmacies as more becomes available over the coming weeks, so people should regularly check Public Health’s website for updates.
Many pharmacies are unable to vaccinate babies and young children because their staff is not licensed and/or trained for these age groups. Residents trying to vaccinate children should check with pharmacies directly and with their health care providers since vaccine is continuing to arrive.
Pharmacies may charge a fee for administering the vaccine, typically between $12 and $22 (not to exceed $22). This fee is covered by most health insurance. People should bring their health insurance information to the pharmacy, and they may need to submit a receipt to their insurance company for reimbursement.
Visit the Public Health H1N1 influenza website at www.kingcounty.gov/health/H1N1 for updates on vaccine availability in the community or call the Flu Hotline at 877-903-KING (5464), which is staffed with operators to answer questions from King County residents about H1N1 influenza. Hours of operation with operators are 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. weekdays, with special 24-hour nurse line service extended over this weekend for people with flu seeking medical care advice. Recorded information will be available 24 hours a day.