Flu vaccine slowly begins to trickle in


Herald Writer

Although problems with manufacturing this year’s flu vaccine caused significant delays in annual events where the shots are available, some area health care organizations are now beginning to administer the shots.

At The Everett Clinic, about 2,500 people have scheduled their flu shots in the three-week block set aside for getting the vaccine, which ends Nov. 22.

"I don’t feel that they’re panicked that there’s a shortage," said Bonnie Neff, the clinic’s staffing and education manager. "The people who thought they needed a vaccination are getting it."

All 17,000 doses the organization ordered showed up on time, making it one of the few organizations in the county to receive its doses without delay.

In fact, it is loaning 1,000 doses to the Snohomish Health District to get its program running, Neff said.

Although the vaccine was purchased for patients of The Everett Clinic, the public may set up an appointment, she added. The charge is $10.

Visiting Nurse Services of the Northwest and the Snohomish Health District both have announced their adjusted schedules for offering the shots at stores, nursing homes and other facilities.

The shots are especially recommended for those who could develop serious illness if they catch the flu, such as anyone 65 years old or older, those with chronic heart, lung, kidney, or metabolic disease, and women in the second or third trimester of pregnancy, said Dr. M. Ward Hinds, who heads the Snohomish Health District.

In March 1999, a flu outbreak killed seven residents of a Lynnwood nursing home. About 100 people in Snohomish County die each year of the flu or its complications, such as pneumonia.

This year, federal health officials for the first time lowered the age group it recommends flu shots for. Now they recommend it for anyone age 50 and older.

The shot is also suggested for adults who simply wish to avoid the illness or who can’t miss work.

Studies have shown that the shots help reduce colds, cut the number of doctors visits, lower absenteeism and save employee medical costs.

Production problems caused significant delays or cancellation of other annual flu shot events.

Monroe’s Valley General Hospital delayed its annual health screening until Dec. 9 because of the shipping problems.

"It’s usually the last week in October," spokeswoman Martha Dankers said.

"It’s real important that people don’t think that December is too late" to get a flu shot, she said. The flu is still around in February and March, she added, noting that the shot’s maximum protection is three months.

One of the area’s most popular promotions, where flu shots are offered in an upstairs conference room of a gas station near the Alderwood Mall in Lynnwood, has been set back six weeks.

Even though it’s now tentatively scheduled for the day after Thanksgiving, Stevens Hospital officials said they still can’t confirm the event will go off as planned because of vaccine shipment problems.

Another popular annual event, the hospital’s Sunday brunch at which the shot is administered, has been canceled because of uncertainties in when vaccine shipments will arrive.

The shots are also available at other area physician offices. But call ahead to ensure that the vaccine has arrived.

Talk to us

More in Local News

FILE - A sign hangs at a Taco Bell on May 23, 2014, in Mount Lebanon, Pa. Declaring a mission to liberate "Taco Tuesday" for all, Taco Bell asked U.S. regulators Tuesday, May 16, 2023, to force Wyoming-based Taco John's to abandon its longstanding claim to the trademark. (AP Photo/Gene J. Puskar, File)
Hepatitis A confirmed in Taco Bell worker in Everett, Lake Stevens

The health department sent out a public alert for diners at two Taco Bells on May 22 or 23.

VOLLI’s Director of Food & Beverage Kevin Aiello outside of the business on Friday, May 19, 2023 in Marysville, Washington. (Olivia Vanni / The Herald)
Coming soon to Marysville: indoor pickleball, games, drinks

“We’re very confident this will be not just a hit, but a smash hit,” says co-owner Allan Jones, who is in the fun industry.

Detectives: Unresponsive baby was exposed to fentanyl at Everett hotel

An 11-month-old boy lost consciousness Tuesday afternoon. Later, the infant and a twin sibling both tested positive for fentanyl.

Cassie Franklin (left) and Nick Harper (right)
Report: No wrongdoing in Everett mayor’s romance with deputy mayor

An attorney hired by the city found no misuse of public funds. Texts between the two last year, however, were not saved on their personal phones.

Firearm discovered by TSA officers at Paine Field Thursday morning, May 11, 2023, during routine X-ray screening at the security checkpoint. (Transportation Security Administration)
3 guns caught by TSA at Paine Field this month — all loaded

Simple travel advice: Unpack before you pack to make sure there’s not a gun in your carry-on.

Heavy traffic northbound on 1-5 in Everett, Washington on August 31, 2022.  (Kevin Clark / The Herald)
To beat the rush this Memorial Day weekend, go early or late

AAA projects busy airports, ferries and roads over the holiday weekend this year, though still below pre-pandemic counts.

Logo for news use featuring the municipality of Snohomish in Snohomish County, Washington. 220118
Troopers: DUI crash leaves 1 in critical condition in Maltby

A drunken driver, 34, was arrested after her pickup rear-ended another truck late Tuesday, injuring a Snohomish man, 28.

Housing Hope CEO Donna Moulton raises her hand in celebration of the groundbreaking of the Housing Hope Madrona Highlands on Tuesday, May 23, 2023 in Edmonds, Washington. (Olivia Vanni / The Herald)
$30M affordable housing project to start construction soon in Edmonds

Once built, dozens of families who are either homeless or in poverty will move in and receive social and work services.

Ashley Morrison, left, and her mother Cindi Morrison. (Photo provided by Cindi Morrison)
Everett’s ‘Oldest Young Cat Lady’ legacy continues after death

On social media, Ashley Morrison, 31, formed a worldwide community to talk about cats and mental health. Her mom wants to keep it going.

Most Read