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Flu shot clinics open

Diane Moondancer gets her annual flu shot from Whidbey General Hospital nurse Caryl Farley at a clinic at Trinity Lutheran Church Wednesday morning. - Matt Johnson
Diane Moondancer gets her annual flu shot from Whidbey General Hospital nurse Caryl Farley at a clinic at Trinity Lutheran Church Wednesday morning.
— image credit: Matt Johnson

Drawn to Freeland by the promise of getting a flu shot, dozens of people lined up more than 90 minutes early for a 10 a.m. vaccination clinic Wednesday morning at Trinity Lutheran Church.

Apparently, they forgot that shots hurt.

But after months of delays in flu vaccine shipments, it was impossible to find anyone complaining. The event was the first in a second round of clinics this year. It came just in time for the flu season, which tends to begin in late December.

Trish Rose, a spokesperson for Whidbey General Hospital, said the clinics -- which are co-sponsored by the hospital and the Island County Health Department -- will vaccinate up to 700 people. Although the health department had to wait longer than it anticipated for the vaccine and was forced to cancel several clinics earlier this month, Rose said this year's round of vaccinations is going more smoothly than last year. Vaccine supplies were so tight early in last year's flu season that clinic volunteers had to give out numbers when they found they had only enough shots for half the people who showed up.

Langley resident Gerd Leffler said she and her husband were not going to miss out on the vaccinations. Keeping their defenses up against the flu is something they do every year.

"We have been getting our flu shots for five years," she said.

Diane Moondancer, the director of Bayview High School, said the flu is an occupational hazard for her. She said she would not dream of going into the season without the protection of a flu shot.

"It's wise to get a flu shot," she said.

The midmorning clinic attracted few children, so the yelling, kicking, screaming and crying was kept to a minimum. Whidbey General nurse Caryl Farley said she had a good time giving out shots.

"It's really nice doing something different," she said.

The hospital and health department are sponsoring two more clinics over the next two weeks. For more information about flu vaccinations, call the county Health Department at 321-5111 Ext. 7351.

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