Here's 5 places to get the flu vaccine in Las Cruces – and where to get it for free

Along with changing leaves, cooling temperatures and pumpkin-flavored lattes, the fall season also brings with it a rise in flu cases in Las Cruces.

While most of the state remains ahead of flu season, the disease has begun spreading at a higher rate in Las Cruces and El Paso, according to data compiled by Walgreens. Last week, the Las Cruces-El Paso area had the seventh highest rate of spread in the nation.

What is influenza, aka the flu?

Commonly referred to as “the flu,” influenza is a respiratory illness caused by various influenza viruses. Symptoms include cough, sore throat, runny nose, body aches, headaches and fatigue. Fever is also common, although the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention notes that not everyone with influenza will have a fever.

Influenza spreads in airborne droplets from infected people, according to the CDC.

“These droplets can land in the mouths or noses of people who are nearby. Less often, a person might get flu by touching a surface or object that has flu virus on it and then touching their own mouth, nose or possibly their eyes,” the CDC’s website reads.

For updated information about flu surveillance in New Mexico, visit the state Department of Health at https://www.nmhealth.org/about/erd/ideb/isp/data/.

Where can I get a flu vaccine – for free – this weekend?

On Saturday, Oct. 28, MountainView Regional Medical Center and Three Crosses Regional Hospital will offer free flu vaccines with or without insurance as part of its annual "Boo to the Flu" event. It’s a drive-through event that runs from 8 a.m. to noon. No appointment is necessary.

“There is no charge for the vaccinations, but anyone with insurance should bring their insurance card, including Medicaid or Medicare, with them,” the New Mexico Department of Health said in a news release on Oct. 23.

To get vaccinated at MountainView, head to the hospital’s Medical Plaza, east of the main hospital, at 4351 E. Lohman Ave. Look for signs and MountainView personnel for instructions. MountainView also offers vaccines for children between 6 months and 18 years old.

To get vaccinated at Three Crosses, , located at 2560 Samaritan Dr., turn onto Samaritan Drive off North Main Street. Once on Samaritan Drive, look for signs showing the drive-thru location on the hospital campus.

Where to get the flu vaccine at any other time

Most pharmacies in Las Cruces offer the most recent flu vaccine.

However, charge for the vaccine may be required and those locations may ask for a scheduled appointment. Most insurance plans cover the cost, but it’s best to check with the pharmacy before scheduling the appointment.

Pharmacies include:

  • CVS Pharmacy at 940 N. Main St.

  • Walgreens at 1256 El Paseo Rd.

  • Walgreens at 2300 E. Lohman Ave.

  • Walmart at 571 Walton Blvd.

  • Walmart at 1550 S. Valley Dr.

A complete list of providers can be found at https://www.vaccines.gov/find-vaccines/.

This article originally appeared on Las Cruces Sun-News: Here's what to know as flu season in Las Cruces approaches