sanbernardino-thumb1Though not coming to a clinic in the Big Bear Valley, the H1N1 influenza vaccine will be available to all San Bernardino County residents, as of this coming Monday, December 21. Per the County’s Health Officer Dr. Maxwell Ohikhuare, “The delivery of the local vaccine supplies has increased enough to remove the restriction to priority groups. The H1N1 virus has been widespread in the county, the state of California and throughout the country, so I urge people to protect themselves by getting vaccinated.” The vaccine, which is offered free of charge to San Bernardino County residents, will be available by appointment at clinics in Hesperia, Ontario, Barstow and Redlands next week; the Redlands clinic, located at 800 East Lugonia, will be open from 8:30am to 5pm on non-holiday weekdays. The H1N1 vaccine will also be available, without an appointment, at the San Bernardino clinic at 351 N. Mountain View Avenue, also from 8:30am to 5pm weekdays. For more information, or to schedule an appointment to receive the H1N1 vaccine, call the Department of Public Health at 800/722-4777. Dr. Ohikhuare also notes that though some doses of the vaccine that were administered earlier have been recalled, “The public can be assured the national recall of H1N1 pediatric vaccine for children from six to 35 months of age is not related to safety. The vaccine is still expected to be effective in protecting people against the H1N1 virus. There is no need for those who received the vaccine from the affected lots to get another dose. Parents of these children do not need to take any action, other than to complete the two-dose immunization series, if not already completed.”