Flu vaccinations begin in Seattle

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by By MIMI JUNG / KING 5 News

Bio | Email | Follow: @MimiJungKING5

KING5.com

Posted on October 20, 2009 at 5:06 PM

Updated Tuesday, Oct 20 at 5:06 PM

SEATTLE - David Gallaher has emphysema, and had a serious bout with the flu last year, which is why he's getting the swine flu vaccine now.

"If I couldn't face a virus like that what would happen if the swine flu if I got that, I would certainly have some issues," he said.

Starting Wednesday, people who are uninsured and have serious health problems will be vaccinated for free at four public health clinics:

- North Public Health Center, 10501 Meridian Ave. N., Seattle

- White Center Public Health Center, 10821 8th Ave. SW, Seattle

- Alder Square Public Health Center, 1404 Central Ave. S., Kent

- Federal Way Public Health Center, 33431 13th Place S., Federal Way

Health care workers and first responders are among the first to get the vaccine, along with some children and expectant mothers.

But for the most part, the vaccine is trickling in.

The Centers for Disease Control now saying shots are taking longer to produce than they hoped. King County has only received 70,000 doses so far.

"Over the last few months we were expecting a quarter million doses of vaccine towards the end of October and so this is quite a bit less than originally anticipated," said Michael Loehr/Seattle & King Co. Public Health.

So for now, county health officials are urging people to be patient, amid a growing number of swine flu cases and deaths across the country.

"As vaccine supply increases we want to expand into pharmacies and open up a significant number of community vaccine sites in schools and community centers, but that will require a significant amount of vaccine in the county," said Loehr.

King County is opening its flu hotline on Wedneday. The number is 877-903-KING (5464)

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