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County cancels its seasonal flu vaccine clinics

By Bay City News Service

The San Mateo County Health System has canceled the remainder of its temporary clinics offering vaccines for seasonal flu.

Since opening in early October, the county-run clinics have dispensed more than 7,000 seasonal flu vaccines, according to county health spokeswoman Robyn Thaw. The county has used up the entire amount of vaccines allotted to these clinics.

"The demand was higher this year and there was a shipment that was supposed to come in but it hasn't," she said.

The county had scheduled a total of 14 clinics, with the next one planned for Tuesday.

Thaw attributed the vaccine clinics' popularity to increased outreach and flu awareness this year. The seasonal clinics also opened about a month earlier than usual, Thaw said, at the recommendation of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

The county does not anticipate the closures will affect residents' access to the vaccines, Thaw said. Private physicians and clinics administer more than 95 percent of seasonal flu vaccines in San Mateo County.

Residents seeking seasonal flu vaccines should call their doctor, or visit other clinics in the area. Other locations administering vaccines can be found at www.flucliniclocator.org.

The county expects to set up additional vaccine clinics once sufficient amount of the H1N1 flu vaccine arrive in the coming months.

San Mateo County residents can stay updated with the county's flu hotline at (650) 573-3927 or at www.smhealth.org/swineflu.

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