Long lines for swine flu vaccine

Thousands of H1N1 vaccines were dispensed at a massive vaccination clinic put on by the San Francisco Department of Public Health Tuesday.

A line of people had already formed at the Bill Graham Civic Auditorium on Grove Street by the time city workers arrived at 6 a.m., and by 9 a.m. – an hour before the clinic opened – 150 people were waiting for the vaccine, spokeswoman Eileen Shields told the local news wire.

The City has 16,000 vaccines to distribute, and in the first six hours of the clinic, it dispensed about 6,000 of them. 

The City is encouraging pregnant women, children, and young adults, and anyone who cares for infants to be inoculated against the H1N1 virus.

That virus began appearing around the world this spring, and it has been declared a global pandemic. Though initially public health officials feared it could result in widespread deaths, it is now believed to be about as dangerous as the common flu.

Medical scientists scrambled to create a vaccine in time for the northern hemisphere’s flu season, but the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention has now recalled two sets of vaccines, when it was discovered their potency decreased after they were shipped to clinics.

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