By Luke Frank

UNM Offers Free Drive-Thru Flu Shots Beginning September 29

Health Sciences Students Volunteer to Vaccinate

What's better than getting a free flu shot? How about getting one without having to leave your car?

The University of New Mexico Health Sciences Center will provide free influenza vaccines to the community for anyone six months and older each Saturday from September 29 through November 17, including three drive-thru clinics.

UNM students from the colleges of Nursing and Pharmacy and the School of Medicine are volunteering their time to staff the free clinics, scheduled as follows:

Saturday, September 29, 9 a.m.-1 p.m.

UNM Family Health Clinic, 1209 University Blvd. NE.

Saturday, October 6, 9 a.m.-1 p.m.

UNM Westside Family Health Clinic, 4808 McMahon Blvd. NW.

DRIVE-THRU Saturday, October 13, 9 a.m.-1 p.m.

UNM Family Medicine Clinic, 2400 Tucker Ave. NE (on UNM's North Campus).

DRIVE-THRU Saturday, October 20, 9 a.m.-1 p.m.

UNM Northeast Heights Family Health Clinic, 7801 Academy Rd. NE.

DRIVE-THRU Saturday, October 27, 9 a.m.-1 p.m.

UNM Southwest Mesa Health Family Clinic, 301 Unser Blvd. NW.

Saturday, November 3, 9 a.m.-1 p.m.

UNM LoboCare Clinic, 1101 Medical Arts Ave. NE.

Saturday, November 10, 9 a.m.-1 p.m.

UNM Southeast Heights Family Health Clinic, 8200 Central Ave. SE.

Saturday, November 17, 9 a.m.-1 p.m.

UNM North Valley Family Health Clinic, 3401 4th St. NW.

Saturday, November 17, 9 a.m.-1 p.m.

UNM Atrisco Heritage Family Health Clinic, 10800 Dennis Chavez Rd. SW.

As many as 56,000 people die every year in the U.S. from flu and related illnesses, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Last year, 180 children died from the flu. However, flu vaccinations prevented an estimated 5.3 million illnesses, 2.6 million medical visits and 85,000 hospitalizations. Flu shots also reduce the risk of flu death in children.

Influenza activity begins to increase in October and most often peaks between December and February, although activity can last as late as May. Last year's flu season ran from early October through mid-May, with high levels of outpatient clinic and emergency department visits for influenza-like illnesses.

People with flu can spread it to others from up to six feet away, most commonly through the air but also from contaminated surfaces. Flu can cause mild to severe illness and lead to death. Symptoms usually come on suddenly, and can include:

  • Fever and chills
  • Cough and/or sore throat
  • Runny or stuffy nose
  • Headache and/or body aches
  • Fatigue

Thorough hand washing, covering your mouth when you cough and avoiding close contact with ill people are proven ways you can avoid catching the flu.

Categories: College of Nursing, College of Pharmacy, College of Population Health, Community Engagement, Health, News You Can Use, School of Medicine, Top Stories