Long lines at county clinics providing H1N1 vaccine - CBS News 8 - San Diego, CA News Station - KFMB Channel 8

Long lines at county clinics providing H1N1 vaccine

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Health officials are reporting long lines at all of the county-operated clinics offering the swine fly vaccine Saturday. About 102,000 doses of the vaccine arrived in San Diego Friday.

The flow of vaccine into the county is coming slower than anticipated, and county health officials urged people to be patient.

"The vaccine is arriving in San Diego slowly and in phases," said Dr. Wilma Wooten, the county's public health officer.

She said another 300,000 doses are expected to arrive in San Diego County in the coming weeks, and in the next two to three months there should be enough vaccine for everybody. The vaccine is coming in both injectable and nasal FluMist form.

San Diego County will offer the vaccine at seven clinics that will be open from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. Saturday and Sunday and from 8 a.m. to 6 p.m. Monday through Friday. A list of clinic locations is available online at www.sdiz.org or by calling 2-1-1.

Health officials stressed, however, that the vaccine will only be provided to people in the high-risk categories: kids, pregnant women, health care providers and caretakers of children aged 6 months or younger.

San Diego County Supervisor Dianne Jacob said anyone who doesn't fall into the high-risk criteria will be turned away from the clinics. She also urged the public to be patient.

"It's coming in slower than we expected," Jacob said. " ... We're just waiting and believe me we are as frustrated as the general public out there who has been waiting for this vaccine."

In addition to being immunized, the risk of flu can be minimized by:

-- washing hands, with soap or an alcohol-based hand wash for at least 20 seconds, throughout the day;

-- covering a cough or sneezes with a tissue or, if need be, the inside of your elbow;

-- not touching your hands to your face, nose or mouth; and

-- staying home if you're sick, until at least 24 hours after the fever comes down below 100 degrees without medication.

Since June, 25 San Diego County residents have died from swine flu, according to the county Health and Human Services Agency. The latest death, reported Wednesday, involved a 31-year-old woman with pre-existing medical conditions, the agency reported.

In addition to the 25 residents, three people have died from swine flu while visiting San Diego this year. They are not included in local statistics but are counted in their hometowns, according to the HHSA.

More than 1,000 confirmed cases of swine flu have been reported in San Diego County this year, but most cases have not led to hospitalization, the agency reported.

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