H1N1 vaccine: Update from King County Public Health

Just in from James Apa at King County Public Health, at the end of a week in which people lined up to get H1N1 vaccine wherever it was available (above, one of West Seattleite Brandon Nicholson‘s photos from the line Wednesday outside a Sand Point pharmacy that briefly was the only one in the county offering vaccine to babies and toddlers):

We wanted to give you a quick update on vaccine availability in King County. Due to the national delay in H1N1 vaccine production, the supplies we have in the community aren’t enough to meet the demand right now, and it’s been a challenge for many to find vaccine. With the latest deliveries this week, King County has received approximately 165,000 doses of vaccine total since shipments began, and approximately 90,000 more doses are in the process of being ordered and shipped to King County.

Given the shortage, our current focus is on getting most of the available supplies to health care providers, so that they can vaccinate patients who are most at risk. As more vaccine becomes available, we’ll continue to provide it to health care providers to vaccinate more of their patients, so we encourage people in the priority groups to continue to stay in touch with their health care providers about vaccine availability.

To provide another option for people prioritized to receive H1N1 vaccine, Public Health is also allocating a limited portion of new vaccine supplies for distribution more widely through public venues. The 15,000 doses of vaccine we made available to pharmacies this week is the beginning of our widening distribution strategy.

He also suggested keeping an eye on the pharmacy list on the King County website – linked from our FLU tab atop all pages. We just checked again, and there’s no new availability listed in the West Seattle/White Center area right now.

12 Replies to "H1N1 vaccine: Update from King County Public Health"

  • a parent November 13, 2009 (11:23 pm)

    Ugh, this is so frustrating! My child’s provider states they don’t have any and the first who will receive any vaccine are public health places. Now public health is saying that providers will receive it. Go figure…this has all become a huge confusing mess. Thanks for keeping us posted WS Blog. It’s difficult to find update info….this is the first place I’ve been checking.

  • Little brown dog November 14, 2009 (5:47 am)

    Yesterday afternoon my husband I got our shots at a pharmacy in Magnolia. We had appointments and it was a piece of cake.

    Maybe this has already been posted, but if not…
    King County’s Public Health website has a place where you can subscribe to updates about the vaccine. Early last Friday afternoon an email came in to my BlackBerry giving the news that all those pharmacies were going to be doing shots. They gave the names and numbers for all of them, the info that came out in the media that evening and the following days. I instantly began going down the list, calling one after another, and within 45 minutes we had our appointments. Some pharmacies were not yet taking appointments as the vaccine was not physically in the store, some had already booked all their appointments, some I couldn’t get through to, and a few were going to be walk-in. I actually first got one appointment for next week at a Fred Meyer store, then canceled it when our local W. Seattle pharmacy gave us one this past Tuesday. I was very upset when a few minutes later they called back to say that it was going to be walk in only. So I went back to work on the list and found the place on Magnolia.

    So if you have not already done so, try subscribing to their news alerts on their website. I had about 3-4 hours earlier notice than most of you, and it worked.

  • Little brown dog November 14, 2009 (5:51 am)


    Here’s how to subscribe. Sorry I didn’t include it in the previous post. I went to their website and found that it was kind of hard to track it down, so I thought it was important to give it to you.

  • WSB November 14, 2009 (6:07 am)

    Thanks LBD. Totally support the e-mail alerts. However, just one small thing, in defense of ourselves and media outlets: The King County information WAS supplied to the media early that afternoon. We were among the first to publish it – 2:27 pm. Can’t speak for any other of our fellow media outlets.
    However, as WSB regulars may recall, the first round of information from KCPH had some discrepancies regarding what potential recipients were told when they started calling the two WS Walgreens on the list – after commenters quickly noted that here, I called it to KCPH media relations’ attention, they straightened it out a few hours later.
    Glad you were able to get the vaccine. I’m going to ask them next week why the e-mail alert link you provided isn’t easily findable from the KCPH webpage with the actual pharmacy list – would make sense, wouldn’t it? Sigh – TR

  • homesweethome November 14, 2009 (6:49 am)

    What doesn’t make sense is why adults are easily getting the vaccine while children are not. Most pharmacies do not have pharmacists that can give the vaccine to young children – the high risk group. Ridiculous.

  • Oliver November 14, 2009 (6:52 am)

    It’s not a piece of cake for parents – many of us with small children have waited in lines, called providers and called pharmacies to no avail. I too called the pharmacies (but only those that were vaccinating kids 4 and under) immediately after the list was posted. Each one told me that they would not be scheduling appointments until the following week, call back Monday. But about three hours later I heard that the pharmacies decided to take appoints, so I again immediately checked the website and was shocked to find that all appointments were FULL. Then we stood in the huge line at the only pharmacy that would have vaccinated my one year old and was turned away. Sorry for the rant, I’m just very frustrated and a little more frustrated when I read posts about others easily getting the vaccine.

  • homesweethome November 14, 2009 (12:50 pm)

    also of note – most pediatric offices around town have at least received some vaccine – way more than the 50 doses that Swedish did – Pac Med, Poly Clinic, Group Health…this was a complete bungle for Swedish

  • sam November 14, 2009 (1:23 pm)

    rant away Oliver. It has been frustrating- doctor’s offices don’t have enough, it’s complicated to find it at pharmacies, especially for young children.

    we haven’t been standing in lines to get it, partially because the family has had colds, with a lot of sniffling, sneezing, and coughing, and it doesn’t seem right to go stand around with a bunch of people who are hoping to stay healthy.

    even drove up to everett without any luck…
    the doctor’s office recordings say soon, they will have enough to give every one a shot that wants one, so hopefully that is true.

  • parent November 14, 2009 (1:51 pm)

    Homesweethome-are you sure?
    Group Health has “injection rooms” and is not offering any priority to pediatric patients via the pediatricians office; it’s first-come, first-served. You basically have to be on call 24-7 and able to get to Group Health in a moment’s notice if they happen to have any in that day. They’ve also completely run out of the seasonal flu shot now. I have a 2 year old and am not waiting in any line anywhere-it’s impossible.

  • Catherine November 14, 2009 (2:24 pm)

    My 16 month old was able to obtain it at UW Medical Center on 42nd and Roosevelt on Veteran’s Day.

  • Oliver November 14, 2009 (5:15 pm)

    Although I woke up with the rant this morning. Homesweethome is at least right about PAcMed. We got our 1 year old and 4 year the shot today as walk-ins with no wait! AND we have never been there as patients. I guess the gods heard my rant this morning. Call on Monday. Best of luck!

  • Oliver November 14, 2009 (5:18 pm)

    P.S I agree about Swedish. This tells me they did not have the foresight to place their order as timely or in quantity like other clinics.

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