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Second flu shot clinic canceled

"The second of two Whidbey Island flu shot clinics has been cancelled due to a lack of vaccine.The Island County Health Department and Whidbey General Hospital announced Tuesday that they still have not received their first shipment of flu vaccine that should have arrived in mid October. As a result, they have had to push back the start of a series of clinics designed to get the vaccine to people who want and need it.So far, there have been no reported cases of flu said Whidbey General Hospital's Community Relations Director Trish Rose but she added that as the vaccine delay stretches further into the year the situation becomes more serious.It's almost like a race now, she said.It's not a problem unique to Island County. Nationwide, flu vaccine is in short supply due to the slow growth process of this year's strain in the lab. The county and hospital had scheduled the first flu shots to be dispensed today in Coupeville but had to cancel that clinic last week. On Tuesday, with vaccine still nowhere in sight, they cancelled the second clinic originally scheduled for Friday in Freeland.Rose said she hopes that when a shipment finally does arrive it will be a large one. She said Island County's first shipment was supposed to be only about 100 to 150 vials - not nearly enough to handle the 400 to 700 people who traditionally show up at each clinic.We would probably have had 700 people show up for 100 doses. It was going to be ugly, Rose said.The flu can be serious for many people. Local health officials are still asking islanders to let the first shots go to those at the greatest risk. They include people over age 65, health care workers, individuals with chronic disease and those they come in contact. Other groups at risk include people age 50 to 60, residents of nursing homes, children age 6 months to 18 years who receive long-term aspirin therapy and women who will be in the second or third trimester of pregnancy during the influenza season.----------Flu shotsThe flu shot clinic schedule has been revised. Two sessions have been cancelled and new new dates have been added. Here's the latest list.Wednesday, Nov. 1, Coupeville Recreation Hall - CANCELLEDFriday, Nov. 3, Trinity Lutheran Church, Freeland - CANCELLEDFriday, Nov. 10, Oak Manor, Oak HarborMonday, Nov. 13, Coupeville Recreation HallWednesday, Nov. 15, The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints, LangleyMonday, Nov. 27, Camano Island Health Care CenterTuesday, Nov. 28, Coupeville Recreation HallFriday, Dec. 1, Trinity Lutheran Church, FreelandThursday, Dec. 7, Coupeville Recreation HallMonday, Dec. 11, Camano Island Health Care CenterAfter this schedule has been completed, the Health Department will continue giving shots while supplies last at the following locations and times.Mondays, 1-5 p.m., 410 N. Main, CoupevilleTuesdays, 1-5 p.m., Southwest Community Health, LangleyWednesdays, 1-5, North Whidbey Resource Center, Oak HarborShots are $12. Persons with Medicare B or Medicaid will not be charged but must present their cards or coupons at the time of service. "

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