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David Morgan
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Don't Let the Flu Ruin Your Holidays

December 16, 2013 - Immunization - Vaccination

The New Mexico Department of Health is reminding New Mexicans that it’s not too late to get vaccinated against the flu. The holiday season is time for gatherings, office parties and shopping. Coincidentally, colds and the flu tend to flourish during this time as well.

“Getting a flu vaccination every year is the best way to protect yourself and your loved ones from influenza,” said Department of Health Cabinet Secretary Retta Ward, MPH. “In addition to getting a yearly flu vaccination, I encourage New Mexicans to wash their hands frequently. Also, remember to sneeze or cough into your upper sleeve or elbow, rather than into your hand.”

The Department of Health recommends people talk to their doctor or pharmacist about getting the flu vaccine. The Department offers vaccinations for people without insurance or who are otherwise not able to get immunized. Those with Medicaid or other insurance who come to Public Health Offices are asked to present their insurance card.

People in high risk groups and those who live with or care for high risk individuals are especially encouraged to get vaccinated against the flu. People in high risk groups are at increased risk for having serious flu‐related complications. People in these groups should also consider seeing their health care provider to be evaluated for antiviral medications if they develop flu symptoms. Influenza Surveillance symptoms may include rapid illness onset with fever, cough, sore throat, headache, and/or muscle aches. Influenza vaccination is highly recommended for the following groups:

  • Children 6 months through 4 years of age
  • Pregnant women (any trimester)
  • People age 50 and older
  • People of any age with certain chronic medical conditions like asthma, diabetes, lung or heart disease, and those who are immunocompromised
  • People who live in nursing homes and other long‐term care facilities
  • People who live with or care for those at high risk for complications from flu
  • American Indians and Alaskan Natives
  • People who are morbidly obese
  • Healthcare personnel

To find out more about flu Shot Clinics throughout New Mexico, you can call the Immunization Hotline toll free at 1-800-232-4636.

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