New Mexicans line up for booster shots as omicron variant spreads

Coronavirus New Mexico

NEW MEXICO (KRQE) – As the omicron variant spreads like wildfire, more New Mexicans are rushing to get their booster shots and at-home COVID-19 tests are flying off the shelves again.

Some say they want to get the booster shot sooner rather than later for an extra layer of protection. “You know, get it done and put it behind me so I can try and be around my family a little bit more and what not,” said Rick Cooper, who received his booster on Tuesday. 

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The Westside Community Center on Isleta Blvd. wrapped up a big shot clinic Tuesday. The clinic was ready to provide 500 booster shots and 50 primary doses of the Pfizer vaccine.

The state’s latest vaccine report shows the number of New Mexicans getting their booster shots ranges between 5,000 to 10,000 a day. While 75% of New Mexico adults are fully vaccinated — a little more than half of those people still haven’t had their booster. 

“No vaccine is perfect, especially against a foe like omicron. But those infections are much more likely to be mild compared to maybe somebody who’s not boosted or vaccinated, who has a greater chance of ending up in the hospital,” said U.S. Surgeon General Dr. Vivek Murthy.

Health officials are still trying to get a handle on how widespread this surge is because so many vaccinated people are either asymptomatic or with mild symptoms.  

However, everyone knows someone now with COVID so at-home tests are really popular again. Walgreens in Old Town say they’ll run out of them before a new shipment arrives. Smith’s on Carlisle got wiped out of at-home COVID tests earlier Tuesday. 

It’s also important to note, the CDC shortened its recommended quarantine time from 10 days to 5 days for people with COVID who don’t have symptoms. The CDC also says people who’ve had their booster don’t need to be quarantined after exposure as long as they wear a mask for 10 days.

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