SANTA FE, N.M. (KRQE) – Secretary-Designate of the New Mexico Department of Health Dr. Tracie Collins and Secretary of the New Mexico Human Services Department Dr. David Scrase held a remote news conference on Monday, January 25 to provide a COVID-19 update.
According to the Associated Press, one-quarter of New Mexico’s population has registered to receive a COVID-19 vaccination, but top officials with some of the state’s largest health care providers say that inconsistencies with the supply chain are among the barriers to getting more shots in arms.
More than 507,700 residents have registered on New Mexico’s vaccine website, and state health officials have been urging people to be patient as the focus is now shifting from vaccinating frontline health care workers, first responders and staff and residents at long-term care facilities to the oldest New Mexicans.
Younger people with chronic illnesses – which make up a large percentage of the state’s population – and other essential workers will be next in line. The state is receiving between 50,000 and 60,000 doses weekly, and state officials confirmed Monday that number is likely to climb in the coming weeks.
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Of the 221,375 doses that have been shipped so far, nearly 204,000 have been administered, putting New Mexico among the top states for vaccine distribution rates. Top officials with some of the state’s largest health care providers acknowledged during a briefing Monday that inconsistencies with the supply chain are among the barriers to getting more shots in arms. They said they are ready to set up more clinics to administer vaccines after more doses arrive.
Meanwhile, the New York Times recently ranked New Mexico third among the states in the percentage of people who’ve had both COVID-19 vaccinations. According to the Times and USA Today, New Mexico is the sixth-best in the country in the percentage of people with at least one shot.
This comes as the Department of Health is working to make the COVID-19 vaccination process easier on the elderly and other New Mexicans who are in need of additional support. A Department of Health spokesperson says they are working to simplify the process and soon you’ll be able to indicate on the vaccine registration portal if you have a mobility challenge.
Additionally, the Department of Health stated they are working with community centers statewide to offer assistance to those without internet or who need help with registration.