Did you know that flu season doesn’t officially end until May? That’s why the International District Housing Alliance (IDHA) is partnering with Public Health Seattle, King County (PHSKC) to hold a free H1N1 flu vaccination clinic for residents and employees who live and work in the International District community.

Free H1N1 vaccinations will be given on Wednesday, February 10 from 11 a.m. to 6 p.m. at the International District Community Center, located at 701 8th Avenue South. Interpretation assistance will be available in Chinese (Cantonese, Mandarin), Vietnamese, Tagalog and Cambodian. This free, one-day clinic will not be able to vaccinate children under the age of two years old, but children between 2 and 10 years have the option of vaccination by nasal spray. Nasal spray vaccination requires 2 doses and parents will be given information on where they can take their children for the free second dose.

It is crucial the public understands the H1N1 flu vaccines are not the same as the seasonal flu shots – one will not protect you from the other. The Center for Disease Control states there is increased risk of getting sick from the H1N1 vaccine if you are pregnant, between 6 months and 24 years old, or if you are 25 to 64 years old with a health condition. Mothers, and those taking care of children under 6 months old, can best protect those children by getting vaccinated themselves.

With the H1N1 flu virus causing a worldwide pandemic in recent months, it is very important to get vaccinated against this new flu strain. Limited English-speaking immigrant and refugee populations in the Seattle-King County area are under-represented in terms of numbers of persons vaccinated, placing these groups at greater risk for getting H1N1. Language and cultural factors may be reasons these groups are under-vaccinated, but access issues and distribution challenges were also prevalent when the vaccine first became available. Currently, there is an adequate supply of vaccines so please visit the IDHA’s free, one-day clinic to get your H1N1 flu shot. For more information, please call the IDHA office at (206) 623-5132 or visit the IDHA website at http://www.apialliance.org.

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