Snohomish flu clinics hand out nearly 30,000 vaccines

SNOHOMISH COUNTY – Thousands of residents formed long lines hours before 10 H1N1 clinics throughout the county opened their doors Saturday, Oct. 31.

By 10:15 a.m., more than 28,000 doses of vaccine had either been distributed or were allotted to those standing in line. Those not in lines at that time were being instructed to contact their local physician for H1N1 vaccine.

“We anticipated high demand and suspected lines could get long. This morning, it became clear it wouldn’t take long to distribute the vaccine,” said Dr. Gary Goldbaum, director and health officer of the Snohomish Health District. “Our goal has always been to get the vaccine out quickly to people at highest risk. We prepared for this and now must wait until new shipments of vaccine arrive in Snohomish County.”

Snohomish County health officials have worked diligently with the medical community during the month of October to get vaccine to those most vulnerable to the effects of H1N1.

Clinics were held Oct. 24 for young children and pregnant women. Today, vaccine was being given to people in the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s (CDC) target groups, plus teachers and professional child care providers.

Wait times at clinics already ranged from two to four hours by the time clinics opened at 9 a.m. Some clinics opened early to accommodate those waiting since 5 a.m.

“This signals that residents are concerned about H1N1,” Goldbaum said. “We will continue to distribute vaccine quickly throughout the county as it arrives.

The CDC is responsible for the distribution of vaccine throughout the country and shipments are arriving weekly. Snohomish County has set a goal of vaccinating 100,000 residents by Thanksgiving weekend.

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