After receiving its first vaccine shipment for the H1N1 virus October 7th, the Venice Family Clinic has begun vaccinating low-income uninsured residents of the Westside. The vaccine shipment, consisting of 200 doses of nasal spray, arrived from the California Department of Public Health.

“We’re planning for a surge of patients should this turn into a pandemic,” explains Karen Lamp, MD, Venice Family Clinic’s medical director. “We don’t know what exactly to expect, so it’s good to be taking preventive steps.”

These initial doses are targeted toward healthy children two years and older and especially those under ten, who are recommended to receive two doses, as well as healthy people ages two to 49 who live with infants younger than six months old.

The Venice Family Clinic is the largest free clinic in the country, serving more than 24,000 low-income and uninsured patients through eight sites on the Westside. All of its services, including the H1N1 vaccination, are provided free of charge.