Health District to expand H1N1 vaccinations Monday - Spokane, North Idaho News & Weather KHQ.com

Health District to expand H1N1 vaccinations Monday

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  • Despite a drop in cases, H1N1 rates remain high in Spokane County

    Despite a drop in cases, H1N1 rates remain high in Spokane County

    SPOKANE, Wash. - New numbers show the H1N1 illness remains at high levels in our region.>>
    SPOKANE, Wash. - New numbers show the H1N1 illness remains at high levels in our region. Even though the number of H1N1 flu cases appears to be decreasing, the SRHD warns that a potential resurgence of the virus could happen at any time. The holiday season presents plenty of opportunity for the spread of viruses such as H1N1. The Health District does not know how H1N1 will continue to affect our community and the best defense now is to get vaccinated if you are in a priority group.>>

SPOKANE, Wash. - Beginning Monday, everybody six months of age and older wishing to receive the H1N1 vaccine will be eligible for it. 

For the past two months, the SRHD has followed CDC guidelines and offered the vaccine to priority groups. "We have reached a point where we believe those in priority groups have had a sufficient opportunity to get the H1N1 vaccine" said Dr. Joel McCullough, Health Officer for the Spokane Regional Health District.  "We will continue to assure that those at highest risk for complications from H1N1 influenza have opportunities for vaccination" said McCullough.

"It is important for everyone to get vaccinated. We may have another wave of H1N1 hit Spokane in 2010 and we should prepare for that" McCullough added. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, swine flu has killed at least three times more children than a usual flu season.

The SRHD anticipates a high demand for the vaccine once it is made available to the general public. Initially, the Health District does not expect to have a sufficient supply. Eventually, the SRHD believes there will be enough H1N1 vaccine for everyone who wants it.

The H1N1 vaccine is currently available at local doctor's offices in both the nasal mist and injectable form.  Many pharmacies now have the vaccine.  Policies vary by pharmacy, especially when it comes to vaccinating children. Pharmacies are permitted to charge a small fee.

No additional public clinics are planned at this time.  Those who are uninsured can get the vaccine free of charge at the following sites:

  • SRHD Public Health Clinic – all ages, appointment needed
  • Safeway pharmacies – over 8 years of age for injectable; 5 yrs and older for nasal spray
  • US Health Works Urgent Care – all ages, walk-in for Valley and South; 4 yrs + for North side
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