The Santa Barbara County Public Health Department has expanded the groups eligible for free H1N1 flu shots to all residents except healthy adults age 25 or older.

The vaccine also is available to the following groups, regardless of age: health-care workers, pregnant women or those who care for or live with infants up to age 6 months.

Through Thursday, the health department had provided 13 community vaccination clinics and administered vaccine to more than 10,000 residents. More than 50,000 doses have been administered by local physicians.

In Santa Barbara County, 54 hospitalizations have been associated with H1N1 as of Monday, and the number of deaths has reached five.

Increased supplies of H1N1 vaccine have been received, and additional vaccination clinics have been scheduled for eligible groups at the following locations:

» 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. Saturday, Santa Maria Public Health Clinic, 2115 S. Centerpointe Parkway

» 3 p.m. to 7 p.m. Monday, Earl Warren Showgrounds, 3400 Calle Real

» 3 p.m. to 7 p.m. Thursday, County Health Clinic, 301 N. R St., Lompoc

» 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. Dec. 12, Carpinteria Fire Station, 911 Walnut Ave., Carpinteria

Vaccination clinics will end earlier if vaccine supplies are depleted.

The health department also has been operating an H1N1 flu information phone line where nurses respond to public inquiries in English and Spanish. From Sept. 23 to Friday, 1,967 calls had been taken. Call the hot line at 888.722.6358 for information.

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