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Some at flu clinic told to go home?

Post by Melissa Santos / The Olympian on Oct. 26, 2009 at 1:18 pm with 5 Comments »
October 26, 2009 1:18 pm

I’ve gotten a couple of e-mails and a phone call regarding my reporting that “no one was turned away” at Saturday’s swine flu vaccination clinic at Emerald Ridge High School in Puyallup.

The concerned readers said they were at the end of the line when a security officer told them early in the day there wouldn’t be enough vaccine for everyone. So they left.

That announcement was wrong and not authorized by the health department, a health department supervisor told me Saturday. Health department workers later went out to tell people there would indeed be enough vaccine.

It sounds like some of our readers had left by then.

I talked to people in line before and after the false announcement, and most said that only a few people decided to leave after they heard there wouldn’t be enough vaccine. That seemed the case to me, as the line had shrunk very little since the clinic opened.

In any case, I think it is important to clarify that when the health department said late Saturday they didn’t have to deny anyone a vaccine, they were referring to the fact that they had vaccines left over and were able to vaccinate all the children who got through the line.

The early announcement was an unfortunate miscommunication from non-health department personnel.

Leave a comment Comments → 5
  1. I was there at 10A.M. and never got out of my car because the security/police personnel was at the driveway came up to my car and told me there was 4,000 people ahead of me and 2,000 doses. The parking lot was alreay overflowing with cars. I am sure there were 100s of people that left. This was at 10 A.M.
    It still seams like the story is being down played.

  2. crusader says:

    Melissa – Your reporting was not factual; as many who were there have already noted. Your attempt to rectify here only begs the question on your motives in this highly political issue.

  3. brohlman says:


    This still isn’t true nor is the article reported today. It was SEVERAL security officers. There was an officer near the portables, several at the back of the line near Glacier View and several posted at the entrances leading into the parking lot.

    When we pulled out at 9:40 the front parking lot didn’t have a security guard but because of the way the cars were parked it was nearly impossible to get in or out.

    I can not say who told these officers to implement such unified plan and statement but I will guess they did not act on their own.

    I don’t understand the politics behind this. It was relatively organized, people seemed to be prepared to wait it out…why not just administer the vaccine on a first come first serve basis and make sure everyone is aware of such.

    Pretty simple to me.

  4. I wouldn’t get uptight about it. Minor error, just like that they didn’t make clear that those with preexisting medical conditions should have been at the top of the list. Oh well, you’ve got to die of something sometime or other eventually.

  5. Security people do not decide when there is too little vaccine, therefore somebody(ies) from the health department told the security people they had run out AND to start steering people away. This isn’t rocket surgery- blame the health department.

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