H1N1 Vaccine to Begin Arriving in Spokane

H1N1 Vaccine to Begin Arriving in Spokane

Oct 05, 2009

First Shipment of  H1N1 (Swine) Influenza Vaccine Set to Arrive in Spokane 

Initial batch will be small and availability limited; people are urged to be patient

The Spokane Regional Health District expects to receive a small shipment of the H1N1 vaccine during the week of October 5, 2009. The first shipment will contain the nasal spray version of the flu vaccine, which is only approved for use in healthy people ages 2-49, who are not pregnant.

The Health District expects to receive the regular H1N1 vaccine which is approved for most people by the 3rd week in October. When that vaccine arrives the Health District will begin distributing the vaccine to health care providers who will give the vaccinations to their high risk patients. The Health District will also be providing vaccinations to people in the CDC's priority groups who cannot access the vaccine through their own provider, in the most equitable way possible.

Currently only people who are in the prioritized groups can receive the H1N1 vaccine – they include:

  • Pregnant women
  • People who live with or care for infants younger than six months old
  • Healthcare and emergency medical workers
  • Anyone from six months to 24 years of age
  • People from 25 to 64 years of age with health conditions that put them at higher risk of complications from the flu.

"These early doses need to go to the people who are at highest risk of complications from H1N1 influenza and to those healthcare workers who are coming into contact with people who have the virus," said Dr. Joel McCullough, Health Officer for the Spokane Regional Health District. "We expect that as more vaccine comes in, we will be able to provide it to more people, but it may take several weeks before that can begin to happen."

Dr. McCullough stresses the importance of patience as the vaccine supply arrives in the community and as people begin to look for a vaccination. "We wish we knew exactly when and how much of the vaccine will arrive in our community," McCullough said. "We have plans to provide vaccinations and to distribute it to our healthcare partners; but all of these plans depend on when we get the vaccine in and in what quantity arrives."

Call Your Health care Provider: Many health care providers will be giving the vaccinations to their patients who are in prioritized groups, so people are urged to call their own provider to see if they will be offering the vaccine.

Health District Clinic Appointments & Free Vaccination Clinics: The Health District has several free clinics planned in the community and will be providing the vaccine, during expanded hours, at the Health District's clinic beginning on October 19th by appointment only. The clinic will begin scheduling the appointments once they have confirmation on an arrival date for additional vaccine.

Those who are in the CDC priority groups, should call 324-1495, during the week of October 12th for information on when scheduling for the appointments will begin.

The Health District has scheduled three free community vaccination clinics for people in priority groups.

  • October 24 - at the Central Spokane YMCA – from 9:00 a.m. - to 3:00 p.m.
  • November 7 - at the Spokane Valley YMCA –from 9:00 a.m. - to 3:00 p.m.
  • November 14- North Spokane YMCA – from 9:00 a.m. - to 3:00 p.m.

More public clinics are being planned. As those clinic locations are confirmed they will be posted on the Health District's website Updated clinic information will also be available on our recorded H1N1 hotline: 324- 1495.

More Information: The Health District's website offers comprehensive, updated information on H1N1 (swine) influenza, and links to other reliable information sources.

Spokane Regional Health District provides individuals with disabilities reasonable accommodations. Requests may be made by calling 324-1480 or TDD 324-1464.