New Mexico Department of Health
Our mission is to promote health and wellness, improve health outcomes, and assure safety net services for all people in New Mexico.
Paul Rhien
505-470-2290 Office

Department of Health Encourages Flu Shots

October 11, 2016 - Immunization - Vaccination

Vaccination Remains the Best Protection Against Influenza

The New Mexico Department of Health (NMDOH) is reminding New Mexicans that flu season is around the corner and is urging everyone six months and older to get vaccinated.

“Getting flu vaccine every year is the best way to protect yourself and loved ones against getting the flu,” said Department of Health Secretary Designate Lynn Gallagher. “When more people get vaccinated, we reduce the chances that flu spreads in our communities.”

The seasonal flu vaccine protects against the influenza viruses which are expected to be most common during the upcoming season. For the 2016-2017 flu season, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention CDC recommends use of the flu shot (inactivated influenza vaccine or IIV) and the recombinant influenza vaccine (RIV). The nasal spray flu vaccine (live attenuated influenza vaccine or LAIV) is not recommended and will not be available during the 2016-2017 flu season in New Mexico.

NMDOH recommends everyone six months of age and older get a flu vaccine each flu season, especially people in the following groups who are at high risk or live with and care for people at high risk for developing serious flu‐related complications, such as hospitalization and death:

People in these groups should also consider seeing their healthcare provider to be evaluated for antiviral medications if they develop flu symptoms. Influenza (flu) is a contagious respiratory illness. Flu symptoms may include rapid illness onset with fever, cough, sore throat, headache, and/or muscle aches.

In addition to vaccine, New Mexicans can avoid catching the flu or passing it on to others by washing their hands frequently, covering their mouth and nose when sneezing or coughing, and staying home when ill.

Flu vaccines are offered in many locations, including doctor's offices, hospitals, public health offices, and pharmacies, as well as by many employers and some schools.  NMDOH encourages those with health insurance to contact their healthcare provider or pharmacist about getting the flu vaccine. The Department offers vaccinations for people without insurance or who are otherwise not able to get vaccinated. Those with Medicaid or other insurance who go to Public Health Offices are asked to bring their insurance card. To find out about flu vaccination clinics throughout the state, call the Immunization Hotline toll free at 505-827-0006 or visit the HealthMap Vaccine Finder to see where the vaccine is being offered.

People should ask their healthcare provider or pharmacist if they need the pneumococcal vaccine which can be given at the same time as flu vaccine. Influenza frequently causes types of pneumonia that can be prevented by the pneumococcal vaccine.

Last flu season in New Mexico, there were 30 influenza-related deaths identified in adults (60 percent among people 65 years and older) and one child, and 219 pneumonia-related deaths reported.

Additionally, more information about flu and flu vaccines is available on our Influenza Vaccinations website.

For more information on the flu vaccine, visit the CDC Influenza Season 2017-2018 Frequently Asked Flu Questions page.


Media Contact

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Versión en Español

En un esfuerzo para hacer que nuestros comunicados de prensa sean más accesibles, también tenemos disponibles una versión en español. Por favor presione el enlace de abajo para acceder a la traducción.

El Departamento de Salud anima a vacunarse contra la gripe