Excerpted from an Oct. 27 press release from Spokane Regional Health District
Small vaccine shipments cause postponement of some Spokane H1N1 flu clinics;
those who currently have Health District appointments will receive vaccine
SPOKANE, WA – The Spokane Regional Health District was notified that because of vaccine production delays, the weekly shipments of H1N1 vaccine will be smaller than it had anticipated. The amount of vaccine is insufficient for several of the clinics the Health District had scheduled for the week of November 2. People who already have an appointment scheduled at the Health District will be vaccinated.
Two upcoming public clinics for priority groups also will likely remain scheduled, but only offer the nasal spray vaccine, and will switch to appointment-only clinics instead of the previously planned walk-in clinics. (9am – 3pm, Saturday Nov 7, Spokane Valley YMCA, and 9am –3pm, Saturday, Nov 14, North Spokane at the YMCA). Appointments for the November 7 clinic will be scheduled by phone on November 3 by calling 324-1648 beginning at 9am until 5pm or until appointments run out.
"This is disappointing for everyone,” said Joel McCullough, MD, Health Officer for the Spokane Regional Health District. “Although we know vaccine production can be impacted by many variables, we were told that by this time we would have a supply that would allow us to hold our planned clinics. We wish we knew exactly when and how much of the vaccine will arrive in our community,” McCullough said. “All of our plans to provide vaccinations and to distribute it to our health care partners depend on when we get the vaccine in and in the quantity we receive.”
The Health District continues to distribute limited amounts of the H1N1 vaccine to pre-registered health care providers for treating their high-risk patients and to locations that serve people who are uninsured or underinsured. County residents are urged to contact their health care providers to see if they are among those who are beginning to receive vaccine.
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention has notified health departments across the country that because H1N1 vaccine production is happening more slowly than it hoped, delays and smaller quantities are to be expected over the next several weeks.
The Health District is contacting the venues whose clinics are being postponed and will continue to monitor the available vaccine supply. Postponed clinics are: Nov 2 (West Central Community Center, St. Anne’s); Nov 3 (Spokane Valley Partners, Farwell Elementary); and Nov 4 (Airway Heights Community Center). Once adequate amounts are available, clinics will likely be rescheduled.
The community is asked to continue checking the Health District’s web site -- www.srhd.org
-- or to call the H1N1 hotline at 324-1495, for information on when and where vaccine will be available.
The community also is urged to continue using techniques such as covering coughs, washing hands often, staying home while ill, and avoiding others who are sick.
Spokane Regional Health District provides individuals with disabilities reasonable accommodations. Requests may be made by calling 324-1480 or TDD 324-1464.