King County Suspends H1N1 Vaccine Clinics Due to Shortage

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by OWEN LEI / KING 5 News

KING5.com

Posted on October 24, 2009 at 11:04 AM

SEATTLE --  It took just three days to run out of swine flu vaccine and for Seattle-King County Public Health to suspend its swine flu vaccination clinics.

"I am very worried, so i would like my kids to get immunized," said Josephine Anderson, who showed up at the White Center Public Health Center after they closed.  "I don't know we're going to do this, but we'll figure it out."

The shortage stems from high demand at these four sites -- at Seattle's White Center and Northgate neighborhoods, Kent, and Federal Way, said health officials. 

Out of roughly 70,000 doses of the H1N1 swine flu vaccine obtained by the county so far, about 3,000 were set aside for uninsured high-risk patients in the county. The rest went mainly to health care providers and at risk patients in health care facilities, said health officials. While the county clinics are now out of vaccine, some doses may still be available through local health care providers.

"We wish we had more vaccine available now, but are hostage to current unpredictable delays in national vaccine production. With limited supplies, it's all the more important to make sure that we use every dose as soon as we can," said Dr. David Fleming, Director of Seattle-King County Public Health, in a statement released Friday.

The county hopes to receive an additional 20,000 doses by next Friday, October 30, but warn that the number is still in flux due to the national delays in vaccine production.  Public Health said it plans to resume H1N1 vaccination clinics when the next order comes in.

The Seattle & King County Public Health H1N1 influenza website is available at www.kingcounty.gov/health/H1N1, and their Flu Hotline is available at 877-903-KING (5464).

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