SANTA FE, N.M. (KRQE) – If you registered for the COVID-19 vaccine through the state’s website, you likely got an alert this weekend, asking you to submit even more information. The new “enhanced” site asks for everything from chronic health conditions to employment — all things the state says will help them figure out who’s next to get vaccinated.
“When it becomes available to you, you’ll receive a code, notifying you of where to go,” said Dr. Tracie Collins, Secretary-Designate of the New Mexico Department of Health. “As we plan prioritization and sub-prioritization, we will be able to provide more information to those who pre-register directly on the site.”
Once you log in with the confirmation code texted to you, as well as your birth date, you’re directed to fill out a more complete questionnaire with health and job information. The health questionnaire includes everything from checking severe health risks like heart disease and cancer to those considered less severe like asthma and dementia. They even include a calculator to find out if you are considered overweight or obese — an underlying condition.
Last week, the state said they hope to vaccinate those with chronic conditions later this month or in early January, as a part of phase 1C. Still, the state says registering through this site is not a first-come, first-served way of saving your place in line.
“When folks register for the vaccine registration website, this is not a matter of standing in line,” Matt Bieber, communications director for the NMDOH, said during the latest public update from the department. “It’s very much a matter of getting everybody registered or as many as we can so that the system can roll out vaccine scheduling opportunities to people in the order of the phase they’re a part of.”
One thing to note in the enhanced registration website is the employment section. When you go to list your occupation, it lists five options: child care worker, food handler, healthcare practitioner, teacher, or “other occupation.” We asked the NMDOH if that means those four listed jobs will be the first essential workers to get the vaccine in the next phase. They said they hope to reveal more details about who will be in phase 1B in the coming days.
One other question asked is if you have insurance and if so, who your provider is, along with your group and member IDs. The NMDOH says this is to find out how many uninsured they need to cover since the vaccine will be free, as well as which insurance companies they can bill to help recuperate some of the costs of the state getting the vaccine for residents.
After filling out the personal questionnaire, there’s an option to schedule your appointment and fill out a medical questionnaire but once you click on either option, they’re unavailable so far. The state says they’re also launching a vaccine call center in the next few days for those who have more questions about the registration process.
The state says so far, 230,000 people have registered through the vaccine website. That’s about one in every 10 New Mexicans.
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