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New Mexico Encourages To Make Flu Shot Appointment

Ruzanna Harutyunyan's picture

The New Mexico Department of Health and New Mexico Influenza Vaccine Consortium encourage New Mexicans at higher risk of developing flu complications to protect themselves by making appointments with their healthcare provider to get their flu shots soon.

The Department of Health has sent 70,000 adult flu shots to public health offices and the department's longterm care facilities across the state. The Department has also begun shipping children's flu vaccine to public health offices and private providers statewide. Manufacturers typically send flu vaccine in several shipments. The Department expects to receive children's vaccine throughout October and will ship as it receives vaccine.

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"The flu shot is an important protection for everyone, especially people who are at the greatest risk for developing serious flu complications," said Health Secretary Dr. Alfredo Vigil. "We provide flu shots to people in New Mexico who can't get their flu shot anywhere else." New Mexicans should contact their health care providers to receive a flu shot. The Department's public health offices provide flu shots to people who are at high risk for serious illness or death and people who have no health insurance. Public health offices are listed in the phonebook's blue pages under state government.

For the first time this year, six hospitals are reporting vaccination rates of its health care workers as a part of the Department's pilot project for measuring healthcare associated infections. "We expect that as a result of reporting their data to us, the hospitals will improve their immunization rates of health care workers, who can pass the flu to their vulnerable patients," Dr. Vigil said.

This year, the Department of Health ordered 70,000 doses of adult flu vaccine and 206,000 doses of children's flu vaccine, which includes 100,000 doses of FluMist, a nasal spray for ages 2 to 18 years. The extra supply will help the Department immunize about 30,000 children during a pilot project this year in a sample of schools and child care centers. The Department will release more details once schedules are finalized. School and public health staff will send parents information and consent forms before the pilot begins next month.