West Seattle Walgreens’ H1N1 vaccine clinics draw long lines

November 10, 2009 at 12:28 pm | In Health, Swine flu, West Seattle news | 10 Comments

You probably won’t be surprised to hear long lines formed quickly at the two West Seattle Walgreens that offered H1N1 clinics with vaccine for high-risk people ages 9 and up starting at 11 this morning for one-day “clinics” – WSB’er Kerry, commenting on our preview from this morning, reported being told 35th (photo below shows the line inside during the first half-hour) is out, but 16th/Roxbury (photo above) reportedly did not run out as fast, and was planning to extend the clinic till 4 pm or till supplies ran out. We’ll stress again, check before you go. We were not allowed to talk with store employees while there.

We’ll continue to report on vaccine availability as we get word from the county and other sources – with stories here on the news page and also adding to the FLU tab below the header as info comes in. 2:38 PM UPDATE: Brooke just e-mailed to say 35th SW has extended its clinic till vaccine runs out and she just got vaccinated with little wait.

10 Comments

  1. Walgreen’s on 35th was horrendously disorganized.
    Apparently they started handing out numbers early in the AM, though the information posted everywhere was that they would be giving shots 11-1 by walkin. We got there at 11, and they were calling numbers entirely at random “3,86,32,305, and 67 please come to cosmetics.”

    They were not screening well at all, and were not prioritizing people who have chronic illnesses (and therefore are unable to take the flu mist) –people who “just wanted it” were getting the shots, while folks who were in high risk groups were left without.

    It was horribly unorganized, there was a lot of “maybe we’ll have some more later, maybe not. You can wait here and see” and no waiting list of any sort, so those who’d been waiting had the same chances of success as someone who wandered in at the last minute.

    Yes, we talked to the manager, and his response was pretty much a “yeah we have no idea what we’re doing” type of vague answer. He looked entirely overwhelmed.

    Completely the opposite experience in calling Albertson’s in White Center. I waited on hold for 10 minutes to talk to someone, but once I did, he was pleasant, went through some screening questions, and set me up with an appt for next week. They DO NOT yet have the vaccine, but have been told it’s being sent to them, and are hoping it comes in time for the appts they’ve set up. If not, they will call and let people know. Totally professional, and while they had even less actual information than Walgreen’s, they were completely organized and the process was significantly less frustrating.

    Comment by Aim — 12:44 pm November 10, 2009 #

  2. I’d sort of agree. though the woman at the front said they were prioritizing for people in the high risk category. I saw lots of people waiting with under 6 mo babies.

    the Albertson’s phone # is perma-busy. d’oh !

    Comment by sam — 12:58 pm November 10, 2009 #

  3. Why are all the locations in westseattle listing for kids 12 or 14 years and older? What about 6 months to 12 years old?

    Why no prioritization?

    I finallyg got an appointment at Rainer Safeway for my daughter who (by her age) is high risk. Did not ask for one for myself since I am not.

    Comment by eileen — 1:13 pm November 10, 2009 #

  4. FWIW, from King5:

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

    Comment by JanS — 1:16 pm November 10, 2009 #

  5. I think part of the disorganization and confusion on the part of the people working at Walgreen’s is that they don’t know how many of the people who show up will get the shot and how many people will get the nasal spray. a healthy mother of a 2 week old could get a flu shot (I think) whereas an asthmatic mother of a 2 week old needs to get the shot. Walgreen’s wasn’t asking those questions when people showed up, I think the ‘shot administering person’ was going to ask those questions.

    It seems like the ‘appt. only’ option makes more sense and is easier for the pharmacies to plan ahead.

    Comment by sam — 1:32 pm November 10, 2009 #

  6. oops- edit that- what I meant to say is that a healthy mom or dad of a 2 week old could get a flu vaccine via nasal spray.

    Comment by sam — 1:49 pm November 10, 2009 #

  7. Jan, FYI the same link has been on our Flu page for days and was in this morning’s preview – TR

    Comment by WSB — 2:12 pm November 10, 2009 #

  8. I would not go to the Walgreen’s on 35th for a pack of gum, much less a prescription or a shot.

    Comment by T-Rex — 2:49 pm November 10, 2009 #

  9. Oh yes, it is ugly out there for those who need the H1N1 vaccine. My understanding is that most pharmacies can only vaccinate older kids and adults because those administering the vaccine need special training for small children.

    We went to the Sand Point Virginia Mason clinic on Saturday to get our 1 and 3 year olds vaccinated and ended up waiting outside in the freezing cold rain for 4 hours. The whole experience was pretty surreal.

    Comment by Kelly — 3:44 pm November 10, 2009 #

  10. aha.. thanks, TR

    Comment by JanS — 3:51 pm November 10, 2009 #

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