NM health officials boost vaccinations for seniors

Associated Press Published: November 13, 2012

SANTA FE, N.M. (AP) — Nearly 2,400 vaccinations were given to senior citizens in two northern New Mexico counties as part of an effort by the state Health Department to protect against flu and pneumonia.

State health officials say the number of vaccinations given during the recent clinic was more than double the number given the previous year.

Another clinic is planned for Santa Fe County on Wednesday.

The department's Office of Health Equity is concerned that a high rate of Hispanics aren't getting vaccinations. In fact, only one-third of New Mexicans over 65 get pneumonia vaccines.

The department received a federal grant to address the problem. It focused on Rio Arriba and Luna counties due to the low rate of Hispanic seniors there who get vaccinated.

Health officials say flu and pneumonia are major causes of illness and death among Hispanics.

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