New Mexico moves into next phase of COVID-19 vaccinations, releases distribution plan

Coronavirus New Mexico

SANTA FE, N.M. (KRQE) – Educators and grocery store workers are among the New Mexicans next in line to get the COVID vaccine. The state has officially moved to Phase 1B of the rollout and is releasing a rough timeline for when everyone in the state can expect to get their vaccine.

The state’s Health Department says the speed the state moves through the phases depends on vaccine supply, which is coming from the federal government. “The idea is to get vaccine to people who are most exposed to COVID, either COVID-infected patients or infected materials; or people who are most vulnerable to COVID through health-related complications,” New Mexico Department of Health Director of Communications Matthew Bieber said.

In Phase 1B, which is estimated to run until the spring, the vaccine will be available to New Mexicans with the following sequence:

  • Individuals 75 years of age and older 
  • Individuals 16 or older with underlying medical conditions that place them at greater risk from COVID-19
  • Frontline essential workers who cannot work remotely
  • Vulnerable populations (residents of congregate care settings)

The list of essential workers includes grocery store employees, caregivers, people in public safety, and educators.

“I think teachers and educators are ready to embrace getting vaccines and getting back to school as soon as we can,” Albuquerque Teachers Federation President Ellen Bernstein stated.

Bernstein sent out a survey Friday to all APS educators asking if they’ll get the vaccine, though it’s too soon to know if that would help fast-track getting students back in the classroom sooner.

“Then the question is, ‘How do we phase back in? What is the timeline?’ So, I think it’s very complex. It’s not a quick answer but I think it’s an alternative we really need to look at,” Bernstein added.

NMDOH states people in this next phase who have registered for the vaccine through the state’s website should expect to get a notifications in the coming days.

“When you get the notification, you’ll simply log into your profile and see which appointments and locations are available near you,” Bieber explained.

The Health Department says the springtime is when we could move into Phase 1C, which includes people 60 and older and other essential workers who can’t work from home. Everyone else ages 16 and older is expected to be able to get their vaccine in the summer under Phase 2.

As of this week, there have been more than 100,000 doses distributed across the state; An estimated 65,000 have been administered.

Officials say 325,000 New Mexicans, or about one in seven people in the state, have now registered for the vaccine, and they’re still encouraging everyone to sign up.

Health Secretary-designate Dr. Tracie Collins will also host a remote news conference on Monday, Jan. 11 to provide an update on the state’s vaccination distribution effort.

To register for vaccination, visit cvvaccine.nmhealth.org and NMDOH will notify registrants when the vaccine is available. NMDOH also announced this week a DOH hotline that offers support for questions surrounding vaccine registration. New Mexicans who have questions or need support with the registration process can dial 1-855-600-3453, press option 0 for vaccine questions, and then option 4 for tech support.

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