With the H1N1 flu an ongoing concern, the Santa Barbara County Public Health Department continues to offer free vaccines to residents, and more clinics are scheduled in January.

From Oct. 28 through Wednesday, the department had given about 20,000 vaccinations to the public through community clinics. Private health-care providers also have administered the shots.

Vaccines are available at the following locations:

» Santa Barbara: 8 a.m. to 11:30 a.m. Tuesdays and 1 p.m. to 4:30 p.m. Wednesdays at the Franklin Public Health Clinic, 1136 E. Montecito St.

» Carpinteria: 1 p.m. to 4:30 p.m. Thursdays at Veteran’s Hall, 941 Walnut Ave.

» Santa Maria: 1 p.m. to 4:30 p.m. Wednesdays, and 9 a.m. to 11:30 a.m. and 1 p.m. to 4 p.m. on Fridays at the Santa Maria Health Clinic, 2115 S. Centerpointe Pkwy.

» Lompoc: 1 p.m. to 4 p.m. Mondays and 8 a.m. to 11 a.m. Wednesdays at the Lompoc Health Clinic, 925 N. F St., Door B

Santa Barbara County has had 57 hospitalizations and seven deaths associated with H1N1. All of the deaths occurred in patients with underlying medical conditions.

The first of the hospitalizations occurred in mid-June. About 60 percent of those hospitalized were females.

The health department has been operating an H1N1 flu information phone line where nurses respond to public inquiries in both English and Spanish. From Sept. 23 through Wednesday, more than 2,300 calls had been taken.

For more information about the flu, call the H1N1 public hot line at 888.722.6358.

Noozhawk managing editor Michelle Nelson can be reached at mnelson@noozhawk.com.