Lifestyle

Two counties expand option for flu vaccine

Pierce County

The Tacoma-Pierce County Health Department will host the second in a series of swine flu clinics that provide an opportunity for local children and adults to receive vaccinations free of charge. The Multicare and Franciscan health systems also announced free H1N1 vaccination clinics.

The Health Department’s H1N1 Vaccination Clinic will be from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. today, Wednesday, at the department’s main building, 3629 S. D St., Tacoma. Subsequent clinics are scheduled at the same time and location each Wednesday until further notice.

The clinic will be in the auditorium, which is accessed from the D Street entrance and lobby. Dedicated parking spots will be available for clinic attendees in the main lot on the D Street (west) side of the health building.

Vaccine distribution, which starts at the federal level and drops through state health departments to counties, has been scarce since the distribution program started more than two months ago. Although vaccine supplies still aren’t at the level that was originally expected, the quantity was in the 10,000 doses per week range for the first month and triple that for the past two weeks.

Swine Flu vaccination is now available to anyone 6 months of age and older while supplies last. Children younger than 10 years of age who are due for their second vaccinations also are included. Those coming for a second dose are requested to bring their vaccination record.

The Health Department offers swine flu prevention and other information, including upcoming clinics, on its Web site. Go to www.tpchd.org and click on H1N1. People also can e-subscribe on the Web site to public health news to receive daily H1N1 updates. The Health Department and Pierce County Department of Emergency Management are operating an H1N1 Call Center at 253-798-7000.

Other clinics:

• through Dec. 23 (Saturday and Sunday excluded) from 10 a.m. to 1 p.m. and 2 to 6 p.m. in the east wing of Mary Bridge Children’s Health Center. MultiCare Health System will provide flu shots to everyone 6 months and older on a first-come basis.

• Dec. 28 from 1 to 7 p.m. at St. Clare Hospital Resource Center, 4908 112th St. S.W., Lakewood. Free and open to anyone 6 months and older.

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