The Chapala branch of the Mexican Institute of Social Security (IMSS) is taking part in the National Vaccination Campaign against seasonal influenza, with free shots now available at its local clinic and various other venues.
Persons need not be IMSS subscribers to qualify for the vaccinations, but should carry an official photo ID such as INE voter credential or INM immigration card in case it is required.
The Chapala IMSS clinic is located on Avenida González Gallo 23, a block south of the former railway station between Calles Miguel Martínez and Flavio Romero de Velasco, half a block south of the glorieta. Vaccinations are given 8 a.m. to 8 p.m., Monday through Friday.
A brigade of IMSS personnel has also put boots on the ground, making rounds to different points throughout the municipality to apply the shots.
The flu vax is currently being applied at Chapala City Hall, Avenida Madero 202, on weekdays through Tuesday, December 6, 9 a.m. to 2 p.m.
In addition, more than one million doses of the vaccine have also been distributed to the Jalisco network of Centro de Salud health clinics, including locations in Chapala, Jocotepec and Poncitlán.
Although the IMSS vaccine campaign will extend through March 31, 2023, individuals most vulnerable to exposure to the influenza virus and complications of are advised to get shots before the end of this calendar year. Those at greater risk include seniors over age 60, children from six months to four years of age, pregnant women, persons afflicted with chronic diseases, cancer patients and healthcare personnel.
As a general rule, flu activity peaks between December and February, but may continue as late as May. Experts in infectious disease have predicted a significant uptick in the spread of respiratory ailments during the 2022-2023 flu season, the first winter since Covid-19 restrictions have been lifted in most countries.
“People are interacting closely again and there are very few mandates,” notes Thomas Russo, M.D., professor and chief of infectious disease at the University at Buffalo in New York. “That’s a set-up for increased transmission of influenza and other respiratory viruses.”
Use of face masks, frequent hand cleansing and other precautions followed during the pandemic are being recommended once again to contain the spread of seasonal flu and a new wave of Covid-19.