Department of Health aims to create flu-free ‘WashYourHandsingTon’

December 26, 2010

NEW — 6 a.m. Dec. 26, 2010

The state Department of Health urges residents to journey to “WashYourHandsingTon” as the traditional flu season starts.

In “WashYourHandsingTon,” everyone remembers to cover coughs, wash hands and receive a flu vaccine. The campaign is part of a statewide effort to remind residents to prevent the spread of flu.

“We use a fun approach to get people’s attention, and then remind them that flu is serious and getting vaccinated will keep you well,” state Secretary of Health Mary Selecky said in a statement. “We want Washington to be the state where people ‘give high-fivers, not high fevers!'”

The campaign includes a YouTube video, radio ads, bus cards and billboards.

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Flu shot protects against three strains

October 12, 2010

This year’s flu shot protects against three types of influenza: the H3N2 virus, an influenza B virus and H1N1, also known as swine flu.

Flu shots combining vaccinations are not uncommon, said Virginia Mason Issaquah primary care doctor Ted Naiman, citing data from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

Marjorie Eikenberry (left), of Timber Ridge, prepares to receive her flu shot at Virginia Mason’s Issaquah clinic from Maxim Healthcare’s Delnaz Pithawalla, a registered nurse, as Eikenberry’s husband of 63 years, Ralph (background), receives his. By Greg Farrar

“Every year, it’s got multiple different ingredients,” he said. “Basically, what the CDC does is they look at the strains of influenzas the year before that made people the sickest and killed the most people, and they use those to make the next year’s vaccine.”

Influenza, a respiratory illness, can cause a multitude of symptoms, including fever, cough, sore throat, a runny or stuffy nose, body aches, headaches, fatigue or vomiting.

Most people recover in two weeks, but sometimes the disease has complications leading to pneumonia, bronchitis, and sinus and ear infections.

Every year, between 5 percent and 20 percent of people get the flu, according to the CDC.

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Seasonal flu shots offered at Rite Aid

December 19, 2009

NEW — 6 a.m. Dec. 19, 2009

The Rite Aid at the Pine Lake Village Shopping Center, in Sammamish, is still offering regular, seasonal flu vaccines.

Walk-in patients wishing to be immunized are advised to call the pharmacy first to ensure a certified immunizing pharmacist will be available at the desired time.

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Providers will offer free swine flu vaccinations Saturday

December 17, 2009

NEW — 12:30 p.m. Dec. 17, 2009

King County public health officials expect H1N1 flu, or swine flu, to spread. Public Health – Seattle & King County officials encourage people to get vaccinated. Starting Saturday, providers will offer another round of free vaccines for people unable to pay.

The vaccine is now available to everyone in King County older than 6 months. Officials recommend the vaccine most for pregnant women, people who live with or care for children younger than 6, people between the ages of 6 months and 24 years, people between 25 through 64 with chronic health conditions or weakened immune systems, and healthcare and emergency workers.

H1N1 vaccine is distributed to many health care providers and local pharmacies. Find pharmacy locations here, or call the Flu Hotline, 877-903-5464.

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King County will widen swine flu vaccine availability

December 9, 2009

UPDATED — 3:27 p.m. Dec. 9, 2009

King County public health officials will offer the H1N1, or swine flu, vaccine to everyone in the county 6 months and older, starting Saturday.

Public Health – Seattle & King County will widen eligibility because many health care providers in King County said they are able to meet the demand for high-risk patients. Moreover, vaccine supplies are increasing and expected to continue to rise.

But officials cautioned that supplies could be limited at some locations if demand is strong. Check the availability at pharmacies here.

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Health officials launch free H1N1 flu vaccination clinics Saturday

December 4, 2009

NEW — 6 a.m. Dec. 4, 2009

Public Health – Seattle & King County will host free H1N1 vaccine clinics Saturday and Wednesday. The clinics are set up to provide access to people at the greatest risk from the illness, also known as swine flu, but cannot afford to pay for a vaccination.

The vaccination clinics will be from 9 a.m. – 5 p.m. Saturday and from noon – 7 p.m. Wednesday. The vaccine will be available at these locations:

  • Renton Public Health Center, 3001 N.E. Fourth St., Renton
  • Columbia Public Health Center, 4400 37th Ave. S., Seattle
  • North Public Health Center, 10501 Meridian Ave. N., Seattle
  • Federal Way Public Health Center, 33431 13th Place S., Federal Way

Officials said 4,000 doses of vaccine would available across the four sites Saturday. During the Wednesday clinics, 1,000 doses will be available across the four locations.

Vaccinations will be available on a first-come, first-served basis; no reservations will be taken. If demand is high, people will be given a time later in the day to return for a guaranteed vaccination. After the supply is exhausted, people will be told as they arrive.

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H1N1 vaccine available at Issaquah, King County pharmacies

November 9, 2009

NEW — 6 a.m. Nov. 9, 2009

Pharmacies around King County — including the pharmacy at the Northwest Gilman Boulevard QFC — received 15,000 doses of H1N1, or swine flu, vaccine, the local health department announced Friday.

Many of the 44 participating pharmacies will take appointments by phone; some will be holding walk-up clinics without appointment during the week ahead. See the full list of pharmacies, along with hours, types of vaccine available, vaccination age ranges and fees here.

The site will be updated Monday through Friday by noon; residents should contact the pharmacies for the most up-to-date information.

With limited national vaccine supplies, Public Health – Seattle & King County officials had to delay a plan to make the vaccine widely available through community venues. As more vaccine becomes available, additional vaccination sites, including community clinics, will become available.

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Voters will decide fire-protection funding measure

October 27, 2009

Voters will decide fire-protection funding measure

Voters in Klahanie, Preston, Tiger Mountain, May Valley and Carnation — the area covered by Fire Protection District 10 — will decide whether to reauthorize a charge to provide dollars for emergency fire and medical service on the Nov. 3 ballot.

Proposition 1 would lower the district property tax rate from $1.50 to a maximum of $1 per $1,000 of assessed value. No organized opposition to Proposition 1 has materialized.

District officials said a lower property tax rate in conjunction with the charge — based upon building size and use — is a more equitable and stable way to pay for emergency services.

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Flu vaccine now available in King County

September 11, 2009

NEW — 10:27 a.m. Sept. 11, 2009

Seasonal flu vaccine is available in King County, public health officials announced Thursday. Officials said vaccination is the best way prevent getting sick and lessen the severity of illness.

Federal health officials expect a separate vaccine to protect the H1N1 flu strain, or swine flu, to be distributed in October.

In King County, flu shots are available now at many doctors’ offices and other health providers, including drugstores and pharmacies.

Some healthcare providers also have FluMist, the live-attenuated vaccine. Instead of an injection, a small amount of vaccine is sprayed into each nostril.

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City, schools gird for possible swine flu outbreak

September 8, 2009

City and school officials are keeping close watch on information about the H1N1 flu from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and the local public health agency. Read more

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