Santa Clara Health Department to host H1N1 clinics


On past Saturdays, crowds have started arriving at the Santa Clara County Fairgrounds expo hall at 3:30 a.m., or earlier, to line up before the clinics opened at 9:30 a.m. However this Saturday, no lines can form until 7 a.m., and the parking lot will be closed until then, according to county health spokeswoman Joy Alexiou.

The measure is an exercise in good health, rather than crowd-control, she explained. Given Saturday's cold and rainy forecast, allowing people to spend hours in the elements in an effort to prevent illness seemed counterintuitive.

The clinic will run from 9:30 a.m. to 3:30 p.m. at the expo hall, 344 Tully Road in San Jose.

"If you come after noon, you walk right in to a shorter line," she said. The vaccine supply has not run out at any of the previous clinics at the fairgrounds, she said.

Like previous clinics, this is only for at-risk residents who do not have access to medical services, or can't get an H1N1 vaccine from their provider.

The county considers at-risk people to be pregnant women, children and young adults between 6 months and 24 years old, anyone who lives with or cares for infants younger than 6 months, health care and emergency service workers, and adults with other medical conditions that put them at risk.

Children younger than 10 who received their first H1N1 vaccination at least three weeks ago should have received a blue card that will allow them to get the follow-up booster vaccination.

The county is also sponsoring smaller H1N1 vaccine clinics in other locations on both Saturday and Sunday. These clinics all run from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m.

On Saturday, 1,100 vaccines will be available at Valley Health Center's East Valley location, 1993 McKee Road in San Jose, and its Gilroy clinic, 7475 Camino Arroyo.

On Sunday, 1300 doses will be available at Valley Health Center Moorpark, 2400 Moorpark Ave. in San Jose, and 1400 at its Sunnyvale location, 660 S. Fair Oaks Ave.

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