The University of New Mexico Health Sciences Center (HSC) announced today that it is contributing 5,000 doses of influenza vaccine to the New Mexico Influenza Vaccine Consortium.  UNM is contributing the vaccine to assist the consortium to meet the needs of New Mexicans who are at high risk of getting the flu. 

Last month, HSC received 35,000 doses of the vaccine that UNM Hospital had purchased, and began administering it to patients in mid-September.  HSC's vaccination program began with patients who were admitted to UNM Hospital and those visiting UNM Clinics.  On October 1, HSC opened a walk-in clinic for all HSC patients; HSC faculty, staff and students; and UNM Hospital employees. 

When the Centers for Disease Control announced last week that there would be a shortage of vaccine for this flu season, HSC immediately began conserving its remaining supply, following the guidelines issued by the CDC.  To further conserve the remaining vaccine, the UNM Hospital walk-in clinic will close at 5 p.m. today.   People looking for flu shots should check with their own health care provider to find a place to get a flu shot.

Over the past three days, HSC has experienced a great increase in the number of people who are not UNM patients coming to the hospital's walk-in clinic to get a flu shot.  Most have come from nursing homes, extended care facilities and other hospitals in the Albuquerque area.  UNM has not turned anyone away who fits into one of the CDC's high risk categories.  However, this influx of people has further dwindled UNM's supply of the vaccine.  UNM will use its remaining vaccine to meet the needs of its patients. 

Contributing 5,000 doses of the vaccine to the consortium will allow the New Mexico Department of Health to determine the most effective way that the vaccine can be used to immunize the people in New Mexico who need it most.


Contact: HSC Public Affairs, 272-3322