Flu vaccine is Whidbey bound - finally

"Flu vaccine is on the way. But it won't be in time for the next scheduled flu shot clinic in Oak Harbor.Trish Rose, Whidbey General Hospital's community relations director, said she has finally been assured that the first batch of flu vaccine has been shipped to the county Health Department. It should arrive later this week.Rose has already had to cancel four clinics including one in Oak Harbor scheduled for Friday and another in Langley next Wednesday. To compensate, she has added two new clinics for later in November and into December.The department and hospital had originally hoped to get their first delivery in mid-October but were told that one of the three flu viruses being grown for this year's vaccine turned out to be slower growing than expected which has led to a delay in releasing flu vaccine nationwide.Rose said that even when the first batch arrives this week quantities will be limited. Because of that, health officials hope people at the highest risk will get top priority. People over age 65, health care workers, individuals with chronic disease and the people with whom they come in contact are considered to be in the greatest danger of complications due to influenza.Public health agencies have raised objections to the fact that some private businesses got some of the first deliveries of vaccine. Locally, Market Place Food and Drug received vaccine and was able to dispense about 500 doses last Friday and Saturday. As many as 150 people at a time lined up for a shot. Though priority was still given to at-risk citizens, critics say that most nursing home residents would not have been able to stand in line for an hour and therefore have still not been vaccinated. Market Place doesn't expect another shipment until mid December.------------------Here's the latest schedule of clinics.Friday, Nov. 10, Oak Manor, Oak Harbor - CANCELLEDMonday, Nov. 13, Coupeville Recreation HallWednesday, Nov. 15, The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints, Langley - CANCELLEDFriday, Nov. 17, 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 CenterTuesday, Dec. 12, Oak Manor, 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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