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The Honolulu Advertiser
Posted on: Sunday, December 7, 2003

About 500 get free flu shots at volunteer clinic in Chinatown

Advertiser Staff

About 500 people turned out at Maunakea Market Place in Chinatown yesterday to receive a free flu shot.

The clinic was sponsored by the Bainum Foundation at the behest of Dr. Duke Bainum, a former Honolulu city councilman who is running for mayor.

Many people who live and shop in Chinatown are immigrants who rarely go to the doctor, organizers said. Those receiving shots included people from China, Vietnam and Laos.

"A lot of the people who live in Chinatown, work in Chinatown, they don't have access to medical insurance, so they may not have the opportunity to get a flu shot," volunteer Wes Fong said.

The free shots were given in the wake of an announcement by two makers of flu shots in the United States that their supply had run out.

In response, the state Department of Health said Hawai'i has a sufficient supply to meet the normal number of vaccination requests and any expected increase stemming from concerns over an outbreak on the Mainland.

Flu season runs from October to March.