Thursday, November 12, 2009

Kidlo gets his Swine Flu Shot on Skid Row.

MB here...

I wanted to get Kidlo his Swine Flu shot while the season was still young enough for it to do him some good. But no one seems to have it... His pediatrician doesn't have any, my doctor doesn't have any, Walgreens is out of stock... Kaiser Permanente has some, due to a decision by the state that the LA times says was "not previously discussed publicly" but the state says was not made in secret. "It was done openly with all our public health partners," said Mike Sicilia, spokesman for the Department of Public Health. I'm not sure who those partners are, but I expect these meetings could take place in a phone booth and still have room for coffee and snack service.

Anyway, this pretty much leaves the county Flu POD (Point of Dispensing) clinics as the only place for Kidlo to get the H1N1 shot, and as luck would have it, today there was one on 6th and San Pedro, not half a mile from our loft, in the heart of Skid Row.

The flyer said 9:00 AM to 5:00 PM, and as I had read about the mess that was the Glendale POD last weekend, I decided to get there early and be prepared to stay the day. County Dept. of Public Health had blocked off 6th street between San Julian and San Pedro, and set up tents and tables. There was six or eight cops hanging out watching over a small crowd that had gathered.

And by small crowd I mean small. They put us in two lines, one "Family" line (kids, pregnant mothers, caretakers of babies under 6 months, etc.) and another line for "everyone else". The "everyone else" line was in the hundreds, stretching around the corner and down San Pedro for a block or so, and seemed to be mostly Skid Row people, homeless or sheltered. Our line, the "Family line" as the staff called it, was maybe forty people. Maybe.

We waited. Volunteers came around with forms to fill out. I talked to the other families on line. The family crowd was pretty diverse. The family behind me had driven an hour to come here from the 'Burbs. He had actually driven around here last night to see if the neighborhood was safe enough to bring his wife and kid to. I guess it was, or at least his fear of Flu won over his fear of Skid Row. I lent my cell phone to the family in front of me so they could call their relatives and give them directions. No one in the family had used a cell phone before, so I had to dial it for them.

A KNBC news guy and cameraman came around talked to some of the families at the head of the line. They didn't seem interested in Kidlo or the Suburbanites behind me.

Soon enough, the line was moving. There was a short delay as they rearranged the tables -- all us parental units were blocking the way with our strollers -- but we were in and out in under an hour. Sweet!

So if you are hankerin' for a Flu Shot (they have seasonal flu shots as well as N1H1) and are in the neighborhood (and in the target group), drop on by.

It's a great day to be a Newsman!


Jason said...

Li: Are they going to offer another one for the kids? I was told that a 2nd dose is needed for kids 4-6 after the first dose. Cynthia and Sabrina had theirs 2 weeks ago, so I am scheduled to go back at the end of the month.

Li said...

Jason, unfortunately they don't make any provisions for the second dose. We'll have to go to another vaccination fair or hope that our pediatrician gets it within the next few weeks.