Consider it an early Christmas present: The DC Department of Health announced that as of December 13, the H1N1 (swine flu) vaccine would be made available to the general population in the Washington area. For less than the cost of two packs of cold medicine (and sometimes even free), people outside of the traditional high-risk groups can get dose of the injectable dead virus or the nasal-spray live virus. Starting this week, the vaccine will begin appearing in area pharmacies. Here are a few places in the Washington area that are offering the vaccine this week and next:
Walgreens (1217 22nd St., NW; 202-776-9084) is offering a vaccination clinic this week, Monday through Friday from 10 to 6. The store’s pharmacists say they’ve received close to 2,000 doses each of the injection and nasal spray and gave out almost 200 in the first day. The vaccination is for the general population age 18 and over, and there’s a $18 fee.
Safeway (490 L St., NW; 202-719-2435) is holding a clinic this Thursday, December 17, from 10 to 4. You can also walk in and request the vaccination during the week but should expect a 15 minute wait. The fee is $15. Safeway plans to offer the vaccine in Virginia and Maryland stores in the coming days and weeks. Call the Safeway pharmacy nearest you, and the recorded message should tell you when the vaccine will be available.
The DC Department of Health is offering free vaccines for all residents at two clinics this week: Thursday, December 17, from 5 to 9:00 PM at the Fort Davis Community Center (1400 41st St., SE; 202-645-9212) and Saturday, December 19, from 8 AM to 1 PM at the Kennedy Recreation Center (1401 Seventh St., NW; 202-671-4794).
The Casey Health Center in Alexandria (1200 N. Howard St.; 703-519-5979) is scheduling appointments through Wednesday, December 23, at no charge.
The Arlington Department of Human Services (3033 Wilson Blvd., Suite 200B, Arlington; 703-228-2358) is holding a free clinic on Thursday, December 17, from 2 to 6, but only for high-risk groups—meaning pregnant women, people ages 6 months to 24 years, caregivers of children under 6 months, adults with underlying health conditions such as asthma and diabetes, and health-care workers.
The Falls Church District Office Health Department (6245 Leesburg Pike, Suite 500, Falls Church; 703-534-8343) is administering free vaccines to people in high-risk groups on Tuesday, December 15, from 1 to 8 PM and Thursday, December 17, from 7 to 8 PM.
The Padek Healthcare Pharmacy in Bladensburg (5403A Annapolis Road; 301-277-7107) is accepting walk-ins Monday through Friday from 9 to 7. The fee is $15.
Maryland’s Department of Health has a useful interactive H1N1 (Swine) Flu Vaccine Locator Map that let’s you find vaccination sites by county.
The Google Flu Shot Finder, which works with Google Maps to pinpoint both seasonal-flu and H1N1 vaccination sites is helpful but not always up-to-date. Health-care workers say it’s hard to upload clinic information. Just enter your zip code or city in the search bar, but make sure to call ahead.