NM health officials break down COVID-19 vaccination numbers

Coronavirus New Mexico

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SANTA FE, N.M. (KRQE) – It’s becoming easier to see the positive effects the COVID-19 vaccine is having on New Mexico, according to health officials. New Mexico Department of Health Secretary-designate Dr. Tracie Collins and Human Services Department Secretary Dr. David Scrase provided a COVID-19 webinar update on Wednesday, Feb. 17.

During the webinar, they announced the state is expanding its vaccine dashboard. The dashboard now includes data on the number of people in specific age groups and different ethnicities who have been partially or fully vaccinated. The data shows the number of Hispanic people who’ve received a shot is relatively low.

“We’re working to address equity in the state and we need to keep looking at the numbers and evaluating what are the factors influencing vaccine uptake, vaccine access,” said Dr. Tracie Collins. “As we begin to move forward with our vaccine equity plan, we’ll be able to address these concerns and get more New Mexicans vaccinated across all races and ethnicities

Taking a look at the data, almost half of New Mexico identifies as Hispanic or Latino. However, only 18% have had at least one shot. Native Americans who have arguably been hit the hardest by the virus are now being vaccinated at the highest percentage coming in at 31%.

When it comes to age groups, 75 and up is leading the pack with 61% of them having at least one dose of the vaccine. While the doctors say improvements in distribution can be made, the effects of the vaccine are clear. “The last seven days, we’ve vaccinated an average of 10,820 people a day which is 20 times more than the average number of cases we’ve had in the most recent 7-day period,” said Dr. David Scrase. “Obviously a winning formula. Obviously our chance to get ahead of this virus.”

The latest numbers show the vaccine is reducing the case numbers. Dr. Collins also says they are expecting to get a bigger shipment of vaccines next week. The state has received 454,000 doses so far and has administered 99% of that.

During a news conference on Feb. 10, Governor Michelle Lujan Grisham and state officials discussed New Mexico’s progress against COVID-19. Officials reported that COVID-19 cases have been trending downward in the state as well as the state’s overall test positivity rate.

Last week, the New Mexico Department of Health announced an updated COVID-19 map that showed four New Mexico counties were at the green level while 15 were in the yellow level. Union, Catron, Sierra, and Harding counties are in the green level while Bernalillo, Cibola, Sandoval, Los Alamos, Santa Fe, Taos, Colfax, Mora, San Miguel, Guadalupe, Quay, Curry, Grant, Dona Ana, Valencia counties met a positivity rate below 5% in each county and are now operating at the Yellow Level. 

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