Flu shot lines make for strange bedfellows

Iona Bunch of East Bremerton spent a majority of her afternoon Monday waiting in line for a flu shot at Longs Drugs in Silverdale. She camped out in a folding chair, her shopping basket by her side. She didn’t know anyone else in line when she got to the store, but in a short time, she was surrounded by new friends.

“That’s the good thing about waiting in a line like this,” Bunch said. “You meet all kinds of nice people.” She waited in a line of about 100 people that snaked through three aisles in the store. The end of the line was marked with a sign that announced Longs Drugs was out of flu vaccine.

Lines like that one were commonplace in Kitsap after last week when the Kitsap County Health District announced a shortage in flu vaccine. By Thursday, the health district was completely out of vaccine and was sending people to the various private clinics in the county that were offering the vaccine.

Bunch, who had worked her way up to the cosmetics aisle in the back of the store, was flanked by Suzy Smith and Kathy Varnum, both of Silverdale. Smith was waiting in line with an acquaintance and will have to wait until the next set of vaccines is sent out, but the health district isn’t sure when that will be.

The shortage was caused when the Chiron Corp., the maker of the flu vaccine Fluvirin had its license to make the vaccine suspended. The suspension affected

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