Friday, January 8, 2010

H1N1 Shot

Many people have been trying for weeks to get their H1N1 vaccine. In fact, my boyfriend stood in line on two different occasions at the local clinic cutting it close to being late to work and after returning from work - that's four times - and he still has not even seen the inside of the building. Queues of moms, their children, and their neighbors children are easily seen in line hours before the doors open and hours afterward, but a few weeks before Christmas I got really lucky. Alameda County held H1N1 pandemic clinics in five or six locations and my landlord/aunt got a call saying there was no line at the Rainbow Recreation Center (International Blvd. @ 58th) location! So, despite the bad weather, she asked me and we jumped in the car to get our coveted shots. I don't think I was ever as excited to get a shot. It didn't even prickle.

We circumnavigated the center to get to the hidden entrance where there was a line of 0 people. There were some people there, volunteers manning the door, the nurses, and EMTs, but there were surprisingly few people there to get the shot. Granted I got there after noon and the clinic was suppose to close at one or when they ran out, there were still very few people getting the vaccine. (!!) It was a relief from a vaccine-needing person's perspective, but it really troubled me when I got home. Where were all the people who should have and could have gotten the vaccine? Frankly, it's very troubling.

It's also very troubling that the Alameda County's Public Health Department has flyers in English and Spanish, but none in Simplified or Traditional Chinese. I do not know exactly how many Chinese-reading people live in Alameda County, but it's got to be significant since AC Transit posts its information in English, Chinese, and Spanish. According to the US Census Bureau, 24.9% of the county is Asian. 1 out of 4. Does this indicate a negligent act of information asymmetry on AC PHD's part? There is a lot of work to be done to ameliorate Asian American Health.

For your reference:
White 56.4%
Black 13.5%
Hispanic 21.8%