To get the vaccine or not get the vaccine?
That is the question in many of local San Diegan’s minds these days, as this year’s flu virus swirls about our heads in airplanes, school classrooms, grocery stores, and even rests upon our money and mail. The current highly potent flu virus this year has been officially named H1N1 – but many of us have heard it referred to as Swine Flu. Yet many are still on the fence when it comes to getting vaccinated.
Initially, if you are not one of the five priority groups designated by the Center for Disease Control (CDC), you have a little more time to make your decision. Eventually they expect to have enough vaccines for everyone, but for now, supplies are limited.
But who falls into these priority groups? Most make perfect sense: pregnant women; caretakers of infants under six months old; children and young adults six months to 24 years; adults 25 – 64 yrs old with underlying medical conditions; and, medical workers. If you are an adult over 25, relatively healthy, and don’t work in the medical world, you’re not considered high priority.
How is the vaccine administered?
The H1N1 vaccine is given in either a nasal spray or a standard shot. Note: certain medical conditions preclude the administration of the nasal spray.
A bigger (and possibly more challenging) question might be “where do I get the vaccine?” Beginning today, from 8 A.M. to 5 P.M., six County Public Health Centers and one County Immunization Center will have limited quantities of the vaccine available to only part of the five priority groups listed above.
Here is the kicker. The vaccine is available at these locations (in limited quantities) only for pregnant women, children 2-18 years old without chronic medical conditions, and health care givers (aged 19-49 years old) of infants under the age of six months.
Wow – pretty confusing already! Those don’t even match the original priority groups listed above.
The local CDC recommends you check with your primary physician (PCP) to obtain your vaccine, however, if your PCP hasn’t ordered the vaccine or you don’t have a PCP, you’re authorized to go to one of the below locations in the upcoming months to be vaccinated.
Public Health Center- Central Region
5202 University Avenue
San Diego, CA 92105
Phone: (619) 229-5400
Public Health Center- North Central 5055 Ruffin Road San Diego, CA 92123 Phone: (858) 573-7300
Public Health Center- North Coastal 104 S. Barnes Oceanside, CA 92054 Phone: (760) 967-4401
Public Health Center - South 690 Oxford Street Chula Vista, CA 91911 Phone: (619) 409-3110
Public Health Center – East 855 E. Madison El Cajon, CA 92021 Phone: (619) 441-6500
Public Health Center- North Inland 606 East Valley Parkway Escondido, CA 92025 Phone: (760) 740-4000
VIP Immunizations Clinic 3177A Ocean View Boulevard San Diego, CA 92113 Phone: (619) 595-4452
There will also be County Mass Vaccination Clinics, Community Clinics, and clinics run by Health and Human Services at schools throughout the county.
The FDA and the CDC of course, recommend everyone get vaccinated, but the choice is yours.
For additional information on Swine Flu, symptoms, risk factors and H1N1 vaccinations visit the following websites: