SNOHOMISH COUNTY—The initial load of vaccine has arrived to fend off this year’s edition of flu—and health officials want the people who need it the most to receive the first shots because subsequent shipments might be late.
“It is very important for high-risk persons to be vaccinated to reduce their chances of serious disease if they are exposed to influenza,” said M. Ward Hinds, MD, MPH, Health Officer for Snohomish Health District. Vaccinations for high-risk people will begin Oct. 15
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
High-risk adults and children also should be vaccinated with pneumococcal vaccine to protect against serious infections such as pneumonia and meningitis.
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 vaccination for other persons should be delayed until November or December to ensure high-risk persons and their caretakers are immunized first.
“The first influenza cases usually appear in December, and peak in January or February,” said Dr. Hinds. The Health District expects to receive enough vaccine for the entire flu season, but shipments will arrive incrementally from October through December.
Snohomish Health District will begin to vaccinate high-risk persons Oct. 15 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 1 p.m., and walk-in from 1-5:30 p.m. The Main Clinic address is 3020 Rucker Ave., Suite 100, 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 from 8 a.m. to 4:30 p.m., Monday, Wednesday and Friday; by appointment from 8 a.m. to 1 p.m. on Tuesday and Thursday, and walk-in from 1-5:30 p.m. Call 425.775.3522 to schedule an appointment.
The fee per vaccination is $15, and a sliding fee scale is available. For more information about vaccinations, call the Health District Main Clinic: 425.339.5220.
Established in 1959, the Snohomish Health District works to improve the health of 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.