Flu vaccine slowly begins to trickle in

By SHARON SALYER

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

> Give us your news tips.

> Send us a letter to the editor.

> More Herald contact information.

More in Local News

Kim Skarda points at her home on a map on Thursday, June 20, 2024 in Concrete, Washington. A community called Sauk River Estates has a very steep slope above it. There is a DNR-approved timber sale that boarders the estate properties, yet they were not consulted about the sale before approval. The community has already appealed the sale and has hired their own geologist to conduct a slope stability report at the site. (Annie Barker / The Herald)
Beneath steep slope, Concrete neighbors fear landslides from logging above

Nielsen Brothers plans to cut 54 acres of timber directly behind the community of 83 homes. Locals said they were never consulted.

Law enforcement respond to a person hit by a train near the Port of Everett Mount Baker Terminal on Thursday, June 27, 2024 in Mukilteo, Washington. (Annie Barker / The Herald)
2 killed in waterfront train crashes were near Mukilteo ‘quiet zone’

In June, two people were hit by trains on separate days near Mukilteo Boulevard. “These situations are incredibly tragic,” Everett’s mayor said.

Rob Plotnikoff takes a measurement as a part of the county's State of Our Waters survey at Tambark Creek in Bothell, Washington on Monday, July 1, 2024. (Annie Barker / The Herald)
Snohomish County stream team bushwhacks a path to healthier waterways

This summer, the crew of three will survey 40 sites for the State of Our Waters program. It’s science in locals’ backyards.

Logo for news use featuring the municipality of Mountlake Terrace in Snohomish County, Washington. 220118
4th suspect arrested after Mountlake Terrace home robbery

Police arrested Taievion Rogers, 19, on Tuesday. Prosecutors charged his three alleged accomplices in April.

A 10 acre parcel off of Highway 99, between 240th and 242nd Street Southwest that the city of Edmonds is currently in the process of acquiring on Monday, July 10, 2023 in Edmonds, Washington. (Olivia Vanni / The Herald)
Edmonds ditches $37M Landmark public park project off Highway 99

The previous mayor envisioned parks and more in south Edmonds, in a historically neglected area. The new administration is battling budget woes.

Edmonds school official sworn in as Mount Vernon supe

Victor Vergara took his oath of office last week. He was assistant superintendent of equity and student success in Edmonds.

Photos by Olivia Vanni / The Herald
Gabby Bullock sits on her bed in a room she shares with another housemate on June 14 in Everett.
‘We don’t have openings’: SnoCo recovery houses struggle with demand

Advocates say the homes are critical for addiction recovery. But home prices make starting a sober living house difficult.

Melinda Grenier serves patrons at her coffee truck called Hay Girl Coffee during the third annual Arlington Pride event in Arlington, Washington on Sunday, June 2, 2024. (Annie Barker / The Herald)
Food safety team defends its work: it’s a ‘high pressure, thankless’ job

Management tried to set the record straight about long permit delays in Snohomish County.

Providence Regional Medical Center Everett. (Olivia Vanni/The Herald)
Global tech outage leaves a mark on Snohomish County

The CrowdStrike software update hit some systems at Providence Regional Medical Center Everett and briefly disrupted 911 operations.

Performers joust during the Washington Midsummer Renaissance Faire at Sky Meadows Park in Snohomish, Washington, on Sunday, Aug. 06, 2023. (Annie Barker / The Herald)
Royalty and revelry: The spirit of the Renaissance comes to Monroe

The annual Renaissance fair will open its doors every weekend from July 20 to Aug. 18

Trees and foliage grow at the Rockport State Park on Wednesday, April 3, 2024 in Rockport, Washington. (Annie Barker / The Herald)
When you get lost in WA, what’s the cost to get rescued? Surprisingly little

Washington’s volunteer search and rescue teams save lives without costly bills.

Support local journalism

If you value local news, make a gift now to support the trusted journalism you get in The Daily Herald. Donations processed in this system are not tax deductible.