Fighting the flu: Some H1N1 vaccine expected in West Seattle

November 6, 2009 at 2:27 pm | In Health, Swine flu, West Seattle news | 19 Comments

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.

19 Comments

  1. I just phoned the Walgreens on 35th and they have not received any vaccines nor do they know if/when they will receive any. The pharmacist wasn’t sure how the mis-information was out. Just thought everyone should know!

    Comment by Alie — 2:48 pm November 6, 2009 #

  2. This is directly from King County – so I wouldn’t call it “misinformation” – but maybe they jumped the gun, or ? This is a news release sent to all media in the county this afternoon. I will e-mail the media rep back to tell him what you were tol, and hopefully they can sort it out ASAP – TR

    Comment by WSB — 2:53 pm November 6, 2009 #

  3. thanks Alie; I was just going to call that location; thanks TR for follow-up

    Comment by Diane — 3:00 pm November 6, 2009 #

  4. Anyone know whether it already is, or has been, available through a physician’s office (at a medical center, for example)

    I need to call my doc anyway, but I am in a qualifying group. Just wondering if I’m better off going through my own doctor or trying to get an appt at the pharmacy.

    Opinions?

    Comment by Aim — 3:06 pm November 6, 2009 #

  5. Walgreens states that the Burien store will get the vaccine, not West Seattle. Hmmmm

    Comment by kwhugo — 3:08 pm November 6, 2009 #

  6. when I went to my clinic to get flu shot few weeks ago, they wouldn’t even take my name to get on list for swine flu
    ~
    I did hear recently that Pharmaca had shots, but not advertising; can’t remember if that was h1n1 or regular; anyone?

    Comment by Diane — 3:08 pm November 6, 2009 #

  7. I talked to 3 pharmacies & none of them knew why they were on the list. I think it’ll all clear up in a few hours, but right now it’s a bit of a cluster f*7!.

    Comment by Melissa — 3:10 pm November 6, 2009 #

  8. Just called several sites for my husband (high risk group) from Tukwila to Burien, to West Seattle. No one knows why the information was released. They do NOT have the vaccine and do NOT know when they will get it. This should be corrected on the blog. These poor pharmacists don’t have the time to fill orders, there are so many people calling…

    Comment by CCm — 3:11 pm November 6, 2009 #

  9. I have just added the reply we got from King County Public Health. They are “looking into it” in the words of one spokesperson and “reconnecting with participating pharmacies” according to the other. As another commenter suggests, hopefully they will sort it out fast – again, this information came directly from Public Health, asking that it be released, and they are supposed to be THE authority – TR

    Comment by WSB — 3:15 pm November 6, 2009 #

  10. @aim–Yes, several doctor’s offices have had it already, but it just depends on if they ordered it or not. My OB only got 10 shots, so gave them to the pregnant ladies who are higher risk because of asthma, etc. I’m still waiting, and I’m a pregnant lady. My GP didn’t order any. Good luck!

    Comment by AJP — 3:21 pm November 6, 2009 #

  11. after seeing the info on the King County website, I called the WS ones to hear the same thing you heard. I should have checked here first !
    the Walgreens at 16th and Roxbury also told me the Burien Walgreens would have it.

    FYI: noted here and on the KC website, it shows that most of these pharmacies do not give it to people less than 3 yrs/5 yrs/9 yrs, etc:

    “Note for caregivers seeking H1N1 vaccine for babies and children: Many pharmacies are unable to vaccinate babies and young children because their staff is not licensed and/or trained for these age groups.”

    so this pharmacy list is only half-helpful to our family. we’ll keep looking !

    Comment by sam — 3:26 pm November 6, 2009 #

  12. Yes. I *REALLY* want the government in charge of health care.

    This is insane. High risk groups can’t get the shot – this is just totally not acceptable.

    Comment by anon — 3:32 pm November 6, 2009 #

  13. Not all primary care physicians “opted in” on ordering the vaccination. Call yours to check. Primary physicians received way more doses than OB offices (there is a link on King County’s website here – http://www.kingcounty.gov/healthservices/health/preparedness/pandemicflu/swineflu/distribution.aspx), so even if you are pregnant, call your primary physician. My OB said they received their first shipment last Thursday and were out within the hour. The Bartells up on Admiral/California will NOT be getting it and suggested looking at their website for locations. the main King County website looks to be updated as well, so both the Walgreens locations in West Seattle list “no” to having the nasal and injectable shot. There doesn’t look to be anything here in West Seattle. That is too bad.

    Comment by DownOnAlki — 4:01 pm November 6, 2009 #

  14. so…. KC updated their website. still lists the 2 Walgreens ?
    does that mean something changed / did the truck show up?

    oh, and other places with appt. only have now been listed as appt. filled.

    Comment by sam — 4:10 pm November 6, 2009 #

  15. We were able to get our 18-month-old vaccinated for H1N1 at Southwest Pediatrics in Burien (her regular pediatrician) the last week of October. At that time, they had a good supply on hand but that may have changed by now. FWIW.

    Comment by raindance42 — 4:45 pm November 6, 2009 #

  16. I drove to Stanwood’s drive-thru free H1N1 clinic last weekend with my three-year-old son. We sat for 2.5 hours in my car but by 10 am, we were back on the road, vaccinated. We’re both in priority groups (I’m a pregnant lady, too!) and neither of our doctors’ offices could tell us when they’d have the vaccine in stock. I really hated driving so far away, but I’m glad we got it over with. Now in four weeks, I’ll have to find another, hopefully closer, place with the vaccine available so he can get his booster shot.

    Comment by kirida — 4:49 pm November 6, 2009 #

  17. According to the Virginia Mason website they will be offering limited quantities of H1N1 injection (no nasal spray) ONLY to pediatric patients (6 months to 24 years old) and pregnant patients tomorrow. The locations are Sandpoint Pediatrics, VM Federal Way and VM Issaquah. No appointments. Here’s the link:
    https://www.virginiamason.org/home/body.cfm?id=158&action=detail&ref=183

    Comment by zero-to-life in West Seattle — 5:19 pm November 6, 2009 #

  18. Seattle Times is now saying “H1N1 vaccine will be available for those at high risk starting next week at 44 pharmacies in King County.”
    ~
    http://seattletimes.nwsource.com/html/health/2010220556_webflushots06m.html
    ~
    KC Health site now says for Walgreens “Walk-in, Nov. 10th, 11 am – 1 pm”

    Comment by Diane — 7:20 pm November 6, 2009 #

  19. Diane, I just got a personal update from one of the KC media guys with the clinic listings – have published a separate item and pointed to it off the top of this one
    http://westseattleblog.com/blog/?p=22206
    .
    Crazy. Just hope that everyone who needs/wants the vaccine can eventually get it – TR

    Comment by WSB — 8:41 pm November 6, 2009 #

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