Kelley Weiss/Capital Public Radio News
On Monday the Sacramento County Public Health Department held its first swine flu clinic for the general public. And about two thousand people waited in a long line to get their shots.
Inga Finn got through the line pretty quickly. She’s 73 and says she already had her seasonal flu shot. Finn just needed her swine flu vaccine before a vacation in South America.
“I came out here so I’d be prepared for having to fly and sitting next to people coughing and sneezing at you.”
18-year-old Hillary Rounds was there with her parents. She was smiling after getting her dose because she didn’t have to get what she called a dreaded shot. She opted for the nasal spray vaccine instead. Rounds says she’s relieved to have it taken care of.
“‘Cause I don’t want to get sick, I had a friend last year who got it last year, when it first came out, and I was like ‘oh my god’ it’s crazy, so she was in the hospital for about a month.”
And she says it was about time that her family could get the swine flu vaccines.
“Like we’ve been calling Kaiser for like three months now, trying to find out when they were going to have some more, and they just hadn’t had any, so we’ve been trying to get it, so we came out.”
The Sacramento County Public Health Department says its flu clinics are traditionally for the uninsured, poor and elderly. But county spokesman Kerry Shearer says during this H1N1 flu pandemic many families like the Rounds have come to get their shots as well. That’s because a lot of doctor’s offices are still waiting for their vaccine supplies - but he says that should change.
“We think that as vaccine becomes more widely available throughout the community and you can get it from your doctor’s office or your health care provider we’ll eventually see the demand for these clinics go down, but right now vaccine is still somewhat scarce.”
Shearer says the county has about 36,000 vaccines. He says officials have given out about a third of them and there should be enough for everyone. The county’s free H1N1 flu clinics will run through the middle of January.