The New Mexico Department of Health recently confirmed that the seasonal influenza vaccine is a positive match for the strains that are currently circulating, adequately protecting people from contracting the influenza virus.
The Advisory Committee for Immunization Practices (ACIP) has confirmed with preliminary data that the vaccine is approximately 60 percent effective against the current strains. This figure means that when people receive this year’s seasonal influenza vaccine, their chances of visiting the doctor for flu symptoms goes down approximately 60 percent.
Unfortunately, New Mexico has also confirmed there is widespread flu activity in the state. Department officials have encouraged people to receive the vaccination if they have not done so.
“Flu viruses cause serious illness, hospitalizations and deaths every season – even in healthy people,” New Mexico Deputy Secretary of Health Lynn Gallagher said. “Getting a flu vaccination each season is the best way to protect yourself, your family, and your community from influenza.”
Influenza activity began a little later this year than in the previous three seasons. Unfortunately, this means that it is also estimated to last for several additional weeks.
In New Mexico, there are 27 vaccination providers that network to monitor and report influenza-like illnesses, like coughs, fevers and sore throats. This surveillance system is designed to better serve people to contract this season’s influenza.