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Kenny Vigil
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Department of Health Encourages Flu Vaccinations

September 2, 2016 - Immunization - Vaccination

Yearly Flu Shot Encouraged for everyone 6 months and older

The New Mexico Department of Health is encouraging New Mexicans to begin getting vaccinated against flu. The New Mexico Department of Health and Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) recommend that everyone 6 months and older get a flu vaccine each season.

“Flu seasons are difficult to predict. The severity of flu and when cases will peak varies from season to season. Getting a yearly influenza vaccination is the best way to protect yourself and your family against flu,” said Department of Health Secretary Lynn Gallagher. “Flu vaccines arrive in waves each season. We encourage you to check in with your pharmacist or primary care provider to schedule an appointment to get vaccinated for flu and pneumonia.”

Influenza can lead to other complications such as pneumonia. Last flu season, there were 219 pneumonia and influenza-related deaths in New Mexico. Of the 30 flu deaths, 60 percent were among people 65 and older. Last season, older individuals (65 years and older) and young children (0-4 years) were twice as likely to be hospitalized with flu compared to other age groups. The New Mexico Department of Health is working with HealthInsight New Mexico on a project to increase vaccination rates among older adults in the state.

While everyone should get a flu vaccine each flu season, it's especially important that people in the following groups get vaccinated, either because they are at high risk of having serious flu-related complications or because they live with or care for people at high risk for developing flu-related complications:

  • Pregnant women (any trimester) and up to two weeks post-partum
  • Children younger than 5, but especially children younger than 2 years old
  • People age 65 and older
  • People of any age with certain chronic medical conditions like asthma, diabetes, and lung or heart disease and those with immunosuppressions from medication or disease
  • 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, including healthcare personnel and caregivers of babies younger than 6 months
  • American Indians and Alaskan Natives
  • People who are morbidly obese

The Department of Health offers flu vaccinations for people without insurance or who are otherwise not able to get vaccinated.  Vaccination clinics at public health offices for uninsured adults will be announced throughout the flu season.

For more information, visit the Influenza Vaccinations section of our website.

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Versión en Español

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El Departamento de Salud anima a vacunarse contra la gripe