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Now's The Time For Flu Shots, DOH Says

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Flu season starts next month. The state Department of Health is asking people to get vaccinated before the disease starts to spread.

Experts say the flu season New Mexico saw two years ago was a severe one. Last year’s was even worse.

"There were 30 flu deaths among New Mexico residents," said Marisa Bargsten, who works in the Department of Health’s flu unit. She says it’s too early to see what the upcoming flu season will look like— cases usually start to rise in October—but she says if more people get vaccinated now, we might be able to head off the kind of outbreak we saw the last few years.

"We get vaccinated not just for ourselves but for people who are around us in the community, because there are people who are at high risk," she said.

It takes about two weeks before the vaccine becomes effective, so the health department is urging people to get shots now.

DOH is offering free vaccinations at its public health offices for people without insurance or who can't otherwise get the shot. See where to go for your shot on the DOH's influenza site, or click here for a full list of locations offering flu vaccines. 

Ed Williams came to KUNM in 2014 by way of Carbondale, Colorado, where he worked as a public radio reporter covering environmental issues. Originally from Austin, Texas, Ed has reported on environmental, social justice, immigration and Native American issues in the U.S. and Latin America for the Austin American-Statesman, Z Magazine, NPR’s Latino USA and others. In his spare time, look for Ed riding his mountain bike in the Sandias or sparring on the jiu-jitsu mat.
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