Flu season is here again and the New Mexico Department of Health is urging people to get their flu shots.
The department's Taos Public Health Office will be hosting a flu shot clinic on Tuesday (Oct. 31), 9-11 a.m. and 1-4 p.m., at 1400 Weimer Road in Taos. The flu shots are free, but everyone should bring their insurance card, including Medicaid or Medicare, with them.
Everyone 6 months of age and older should get a flu vaccine each flu season, the department advises. Especially people in the following groups should get a flu shot because they are at high risk of having serious flu-related complications or because they live with or care for people at high risk of developing flu-related complications:
• Children 6 months through 4 years of age.
• Pregnant women (any trimester).
• People age 50 and older.
• People of any age with certain chronic medical conditions, like asthma, diabetes, lung or heart disease and those who are immunocompromised.
• People who live in nursing homes and other long-term care facilities.
• People who live with or care for those at high risk for complications from flu.
• Native Americans and Alaskan Natives.
• People who are obese.
• Health care and early childhood personnel.
The severity of flu season can vary from year to year, but seasonal flu vaccine protects against the influenza viruses expected to be most common during the upcoming season. Nothing can protect you from the flu better than getting vaccinated every year.
Flu vaccines are offered in many locations, including doctor's offices, hospitals and pharmacies, as well as by many employers and some schools. Public health offices throughout the state have vaccines available for those without insurance.
For more information on the no-charge flu shot clinic, call the Taos County Public Health Office at (575) 758-2073.