It's still not too late to get your flu shot.
The UNM Health Sciences Center and UNM Hospitals will host two free flu shot clinics on Saturday, Dec. 6 and Sunday, Dec. 7.
The Dec. 6 clinic will be held at the UNM Westside Clinic, 4808 McMahon NW. It will run from 9 a.m.- 1 p.m. for ages 6 months and older.
On Dec. 7, a free adult flu shot clinic for for ages 18-90 will run from noon to 3 p.m. in the UNM Hospital Urgent Care Clinic, located on the first floor of UNM Hospital, 2211 Lomas NE.
“UNM Hospital and Clinics have already seen a few patients with the flu in the past month and there are more patients with influenza each week,” said Meghan Brett, MD, UNMH epidemiologist.
“Receiving a flu shot now is important to protect yourself when other people in the community are sick with influenza,” she said. “It takes about two weeks before the shots are fully effective so the sooner you get the shot, the sooner you’ll be protected from flu. The flu vaccine will provide protection throughout the flu season, which typically runs from December to late March.”
Each year, 5 percent to 20 percent of the U.S. population get the flu. More than 200,000 people are hospitalized with influenza annually in the U.S. and between 3,000 and 49,000 people die due to influenza. Vaccination is one of the most effective ways to prevent influenza. The CDC recommends vaccinations for everyone over the age of six months, Brett said.