County offers free H1N1 vaccine clinic in Blaine

Published on Wed, Jan 13, 2010 by Tara Nelson

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Whatcom County Health Department will hold a walk-in H1N1 vaccination clinic in Blaine from 3:30 to 6:30 p.m. Wednesday, January 20  at the Blaine high school gymnasium at 1055 H Street. This community clinic is open to anyone six months of age or older.

The clinic is part of a series of community clinics during January for those who have had difficulty getting the vaccine and will help ensure that free H1N1 vaccination is available to those who can least afford to pay. This includes those who are homeless, those who have large families, the unemployed and those who reside in remote areas of the county.

Department officials say H1N1 flu is a serious disease. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention estimates that between mid-April and November 14, 2009, 47 million people in the United States were infected with the H1N1 flu, more than 200,000 people were hospitalized, and over 9,800 people died. Those with underlying chronic health issues and the young are particularly vulnerable. Getting vaccinated protects not only the individual, but the individual’s family, friends, co-workers, and vulnerable members in the community.

Several other clinics have also been scheduled. They are: Friday, January 15 from 2 to 4:30 p.m. at the drop-in center of the Lighthouse Mission at 910 W. Holly Street in Bellingham; Thursday, January 21 from 10 a.m. to 1 p.m. at Bellingham Technical College cafeteria; Friday, January 22 from 9 a.m. to noon at the Rainbow Center at 809 W. Holly Avenue; Saturday, January 23 from 8:30 to 11 a.m. at the Ferndale Food Bank; Wednesday, January 27 from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m. at the Bellingham Food Bank at 1824 Ellis Street; Thursday, January 28 from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. at Maple Alley Inn at 2750 McLeod Road in Bellingham.

Individuals six months of age or older are eligible for these clinics. Only inactivated influenza vaccine is available at these sites.

As additional clinics are scheduled, these will be announced on the Whatcom Pandemic Joint Information website located at www.em.whatcomcounty.org. For additional H1N1 resources, visit www.em.whatcomcounty.org or email pio@em.whatcomcounty.org.

Those preferring H1N1 nasal mist or Thimerosol-free vaccine should schedule an appointment with the health department by calling 676-4593.

The department is facilitating clinics each Tuesday and Wednesday in January from 1 to 4:30 p.m. at 1500 N. State Street in Bellingham.

In addition to health department-sponsored clinics, many medical provider offices and local pharmacies offer H1N1 vaccination.

Those who can’t pay for H1N1 vaccination should contact the Whatcom County Health Department at 360/676-4593.