UNM Hospitals is moving forward with this fall's remaining free public flu-shot clinics, including Saturday's first drive-thru clinic, after receiving shipments of influenza vaccine.
The first two clinics scheduled for earlier this month were postponed, and others were tentative because delivery of the vaccine was delayed due to manufacturing issues. The hospital received a small shipment of vaccine two weeks ago that was set aside for inpatient and other vulnerable patient populations. Another shipment arrived last week, and more doses are expected be delivered later this month, allowing the hospital to move forwared with the public flu-shot clinic schedule, according to Hospital Epidemiolgist Meghan Brett, MD.
Flu season typically ramps up in December and peaks later in the winter.
"So even with the delayed delivery of the vaccine, there's still plenty of time to get your flu shot," Brett said. “Some 200,000 people in the U.S. become ill with influenza every year, and thousands die from flu. Vaccinations are one of the most effective ways to prevent seasonal influenza."
Those who visit the popular free drive-thru clinics – scheduled for Oct. 18 and Oct. 25 – can receive flu vaccines without getting out of their cars. Drive-thru vaccinations are available for adults and children ages 9 and older. All other clinics offer flu shots to adults and children ages 6 months and older.
The CDC recommends vaccinations for everyone over the age of six months, Brett said, adding that it is particularly important for health care personnel to be vaccinated since they are in contact with vulnerable populations.
Following are the times and Albuquerque locations of the free public flu shot clinics. UNMH will try to reschedule any postponed clinics. Visit hsc.unm.edu to find the updated flu-shot clinic schedule:
Oct. 25, 2014 (Drive-thru clinic) – Family Practice Center (UNM North Campus), 2400 Tucker NE, 9 a.m. – 2 p.m., for ages 9 years and older
Nov. 1, 2014 – Soutwest Mesa Clinic, 301 Unser Blvd. NW, 9 a.m. – 1 p.m., for ages 6 months and older
Nov. 8, 2014 – Lobocare and Senior Clinic, 1101-4A Medical Arts Ave. NE, 9 a.m.– 1 p.m., for ages 6 months and older
Nov. 15, 2014 – Southeast Heights Clinic, 8200 Central SE, 9 a.m. – 1 p.m., for ages 6 months and older
Dec. 6, 2014 – UNM Westside Clinic, 4808 McMahon NW, 9 a.m.-1 p.m., for ages 6 months and older