My doctor can give me the vaccination for the H1N1 swine flu virus if I want to wait until November eleventh. Which I don’t, really.
Especially since the San Francisco Department of Public Health announced this week that our public health clinics would begin limited hours Thursday, Friday and Saturday with free H1N1 vaccinations. My doctor’s office hasn’t decided whether to charge an administrative fee of $17 or my health plan co-pay of $15. Either way, free and sooner sounds better, right?
So — I headed over to the Castro-Mission Health Center on 17th street at 3pm, thinking I’d be near the head of the line when they started vaccinating people at 4pm.
I arrived shortly after 3pm; there were about 100 people in line, around the clinic building, down the short 17th Street block and ready to curl around onto Prosper. With just three hours planned, more than thirty people an hour needed to get vaccinated in order to get through the folks in line already. That’s more than one person every two minutes — and they weren’t starting for another forty-five minutes!
I’m going to try again tomorrow. Moral of the story? Call your doctor if you want a guaranteed vaccination; I’m keeping my appointment, and if you want a shot, you probably should get your doctor to slot you in. Check with your doctor or check your city’s .gov website and search “flu shots.”
Here’s the San Francisco schedule, for those of you who are at risk for H1N1 and want to try to get vaccinated at a public health clinic tomorrow or Saturday:
Thursday and Friday
4 pm – 7 pm
8 am – 12 pm (noon)
* Castro Mission Health Center – 3850 17th St
* Maxine Hall Health Center – 1301 Pierce St
* Ocean Park Health Center – 1351 24th Ave
* Potrero Hill Health Center – 1050 Wisconsin St
* Silver Avenue Family Health Center – 1525 Silver Ave
* Southeast Health Center – 2401 Keith St
* Mission Neighborhood Health Center – 240 Shotwell
* North East Medical Services – 1520 Stockton
* St. Anthony’s Free Medical Clinic – 150 Golden Gate Ave