6,700 doses of H1N1 vaccine on their way to San Luis Obispo County

An additional 6,700 doses of the H1N1 vaccine are on their way for San Luis Obispo public health officials to administer, and the vaccine should arrive in the area later this week.

Meanwhile, the county Public Health Department reports there have been 33 local hospitalizations and one death associated with the disease. It also has 154 confirmed lab samples showing the H1N1 virus in local patients, but the county department stopped doing the tests three months ago in part because the assumption now is that much of the flu in the community is H1N1 rather than of the seasonal variety.

The Public Health Department is announcing that because some health providers have returned vaccines after inoculating those most threatened by the new flu, that it will have clinics available at its sites in Grover Beach, San Luis Obispo and Paso Robles.

The clinics, which started Tuesday, will run from 3 to 6 p.m. again today and Thursday and will be available by appointment only. The vaccines will be distributed on a priority basis to pregnant women, those aged 6 months to 64 years with serious medical conditions, and to people who care for or live with children younger than six months.

Appointments for the vaccines can be made by calling the county at 781-5500.

Meanwhile, vaccinations of schoolchildren also continue this week. With the new shipment of vaccines, county health officials believe they will be able to complete most elementary school vaccination clinics before Thanksgiving.