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On the line for a not so free flu shot – Brooklyn Paper

On the line for a not so free flu shot

The Brooklyn Paper / Mike Short

Now that the city’s school system has started to dole out flu shots, adults are apparently realizing that they should get one, too.

“This is the only place I could get a vaccine today. I’m coming from Harlem, I called two places and they were closed. I have to get my kids vaccinated for school. This line is a big problem. I’m missing work and I’m paying for it. This is not free. My kids are paying for it now too, look at them.”
Abdul Ali, Harlem
The Brooklyn Paper / Mike Short

On Wednesday, a three-hour line formed outside the Department of Health building on Flatbush Avenue Extension near Willoughby Street, and a worker at the center said it had been “besieged” by patients like Doug Wallace, 82, of Park Slope.

“I’m only getting this because it’s required for my job. I’m from Jamaica and I don’t believe in medicine. For all I know the doctors will insert a microchip in my body. Every time I take medicine I pray to God. Once the doctor gave me pills and I couldn’t feel my legs.”
Jane Elizabeth, Crown Heights
The Brooklyn Paper / Mike Short

“No one wants to give me a flu shot this year,” he said, explaining how he ended up in the line. “I need it for my health. I went to my doctor and he said he’s not giving them this year, the hospital on my street where I was born doesn’t have them either.”

“Our family just got health care and we have to wait a month before it begins. It’s free, but we are missing school, our dad is missing work and we’re here all day on the cold.”
Alonso Galvez, Sheepshead Bay
The Brooklyn Paper / Mike Short

Here’s what else we heard from people on the line for the free shot:

“I feel like I will get the flu standing here. We should be waiting inside. Look at the old ladies and the children missing school. This isn’t free and this isn’t fair. I’m missing work and I’m not getting paid.”
Mary Jane, Crown Heights
The Brooklyn Paper / Mike Short

“This is the only place I could find that is open in Brooklyn. I’m not afraid of getting the flu, or tuberculosis or H1N1, but I’m getting the shot anyway.”
Lorsy Mondol, Kensington
The Brooklyn Paper / Mike Short

By the end of the season, the city expects to supply 800,000 doses of the H1N1 vaccine. Two million more doses are expected by January. To find the nearest center supplying free seasonal flu and the H1N1 virus shots near you visit the Health Department flu Web site.

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