SNOHOMISH COUNTY--- Snohomish Health District will offer flu immunizations at its two clinics beginning Oct. 14.
“We ask that ‘high-risk’ people come in for vaccinations early in the fall,” said M. Ward Hinds, MD, MPH, health officer for Snohomish County. “The manufacturer distributes vaccine by allotment from October to December, and we want to use our initial allotment for the people who are most likely at risk of complications,” said Dr. Hinds.
Priority for flu shots will be given to:
- Persons age 65 or over
- Residents of nursing homes and other chronic-care facilities
- Persons of any age with chronic disease of the lungs, heart or circulatory system, including children with asthma
- Persons of any age with chronic conditions requiring regular medical follow-up including diabetes, kidney disease, hemoglobin disorders, or an immune system suppressed by disease or treatment
- Children age 6 months to 18 years receiving long-term aspirin therapy (because of risk of Reyes Syndrome)
- Women who will be in the second or third trimester of pregnancy during flu season
- Household members (including children) of persons in the above high-risk groups
NOTE: Children under age 9 receiving vaccine for the first time will need two doses of vaccine with a one-month separation between vaccinations.
Priority for influenza vaccination also will be given to health care professionals, employees of nursing homes and chronic care facilities, providers of home care and household members of persons who meet one or more of the high-risk criteria.
Influenza vaccine also is recommended for persons 50-64 years of age because this population has an increased prevalence of high-risk conditions. Because children age 6-23 months are at increased risk for influenza-related hospitalization, vaccination of all children in this age group is encouraged. Health officials also encourage vaccination of young children’s household contacts and out-of-home caretakers, particularly for children newborn to 5 months of age.
Last year’s vaccine shipments were delayed due to production problems. This year the makers have increased production by about 10 million doses, up to 97 million doses. Snohomish Health District clinics gave more than 5300 flu shots last year.
Snohomish Health District will begin to vaccinate high-risk persons Oct. 14 at its clinics in Everett and Lynnwood. Flu shots are available at the Snohomish Health District Main Clinic by appointment on Tuesday, Thursday and Friday from 8 a.m. to 4:30 p.m.; Monday and Wednesday by appointment from 8 a.m. to 12:30 p.m., and walk-in from 1 to 4:30 p.m. The Main Clinic address is 3020 Rucker Ave., Suite 108, Everett. Call 425.339.5220 to make appointments.
The District also operates a clinic in Lynnwood, at 6101 200th St, SW, Suite 100. The clinic offers flu vaccinations by appointment Monday 8 a.m. to 5:30 p.m., Tuesday and Thursday 8 a.m. to 12:30 p.m., Wednesday and Friday 8 a.m. to 4:30 p.m., and walk-in Tuesday and Thursday 1 to 5:30 p.m. Call 425.775.3522 to schedule an appointment.
The total fee for influenza vaccination is $15 by cash or check, and a sliding fee scale is available. The clinics also accept medical coupons and Medicare. The State provides flu vaccine for children age 6 months through 18 years with high-risk conditions, including children who are a household contact of a person at high risk, and only a $10 administration fee is charged for these children. Individuals with Medicare who are enrolled in a health plan such as Secure Horizons are encouraged to use their assigned provider. If they choose to come to the Health District clinics, they will be charged according to the sliding fee scale. For more information about vaccinations, call the Health District Main Clinic: 425.339.5220.
Health District nurses also visit assisted living facilities, senior centers and adult family homes to vaccinate these high-risk residents.
Tetanus-diphtheria (Td) vaccine is now available. Individuals who last received Td vaccine more than 10 years ago or never completed a primary series may have a routine booster at the same time as the flu vaccine. Other vaccines such as pneumonia may also be recommended and are safely given with flu and Td vaccines. The office visit fee, which is waived when only flu vaccine is given, will be added to the cost of clinic services if additional vaccines are administered. This office visit fee is on sliding fee scale.
Established in 1959, the Snohomish Health District works for safer and healthier individuals, families and communities through disease prevention, health promotion, and protection from environmental threats. Find more information about the Health District at www.snohd.org.