Steady flow of people moves through free H1N1 vaccine clinic in Carson

A man receives an H1N1 vaccination during a drive thru H1N1 vaccination clinic at Doctor's Medical Center November 5, 2009 in San Pablo, California.
A man receives an H1N1 vaccination during a drive thru H1N1 vaccination clinic at Doctor's Medical Center November 5, 2009 in San Pablo, California. Justin Sullivan/Getty Images

Today’s free H1N1 vaccination clinic at the Home Depot Center in Carson was expected to be one of the largest so far in Los Angeles County. By midday, the turnout was steady, with a pretty constant flow of people.

They walk along a sidewalk next to a grassy sports field. About a dozen people at a time gather around some workers to fill out basic health forms.

“We’re only vaccinating those today who fall in the priority groups," announced one of the workers, at times using a megaphone. "That’s anyone who’s pregnant or who plans on being pregnant in a month. Also, anyone who’s a health care worker or an emergency care worker. Anyone who takes care of an infant 6 months of age or younger. Anyone 6 months old to 24 years old. Anyone 25 years old to 64 years old, only with a chronic condition.”

Anyone who doesn’t fit that bill is turned away. Everyone else heads to a row of tables under blue tents to turn in the forms. Then they gather in a small line, about a dozen at a time.

Every few minutes a worker leads the line across the way to the velodrome, where health care workers administered shots to adults and FluMist to children.

Jim Devlin of Los Alamitos is in line with his wife and 6-year-old daughter. The little girl has diabetes. Devlin says he and his wife checked online and called 211, a county information line, every day to try to track down the swine flu vaccine in Orange County. But no luck.

"It said in Orange County it wasn’t going to be available until the 18th," Devlin said. "So when we saw it today on the news, we actually went and got her out of school."

Six-year-old Claire is chatty, but not too happy about the situation.

"I don’t really want to get one," she said.

But she did anyway. So far, the Los Angeles County Department of Public Health has held about 70 swine flu vaccine clinics, with many more to come.

County officials are trying to persuade more people from the African-American community to get vaccinated. They say a higher number of Asians have been vaccinated, even though the black community is larger. The midday lines appeared to be mostly white and Latino.

The H1N1 clinics continue tomorrow, with free vaccinations in El Monte, Pico Rivera, and Lancaster. Officials recommend calling 211 for the latest vaccination clinic information.

Tuesday Free H1N1 Vaccination Clinics (for high-risk groups)
November 17, 2009

El Monte
11 a.m. - 7 p.m.
El Monte Community Center
3130 N. Tyler Ave.
El Monte, CA 91731

Pico Rivera
1 p.m. - 9 p.m.
Smith Park
6016 Rosemead Blvd.
Pico Rivera, CA 90660

Lancaster
9 a.m. - 3 p.m.
Antelope Valley Fairgrounds
2551 W. Avenue H
Lancaster, CA 93536

Wednesday Free H1N1 Vaccination Clinics (for high-risk groups)
November 18, 2009

Claremont
9 a.m. - 5 p.m.
Taylor Hall
1775 N. Indian Hill Blvd.
Claremont, CA 91711

Most listings at http://www.publichealth.lacounty.gov/docs/H1N1PODSCHEDULE_DATE.pdf

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