NEW MEXICO (KRQE) – Tens of thousands of New Mexicans are already putting their names on the waiting list for the COVID-19 vaccine. Less than 24 hours after the state announced a new website where any New Mexican can sign up to get the vaccine, 35,000 people have already saved their place in line.

“You can go to the site now. You can put your info in and if you’re 1A you’ll be given more information now but if you’re not we will notify you later so it is open to everyone but the folks who are going to progress through the website are in phase 1A,” said Dr. Tracie Collins, Secretary-designate for the Department of Health.

Dr. Collins says phase 1A is what the state is currently in and the vaccine is only available right now to front line health care workers and people who live or work at long term care facilities. The health secretary says that come January, the state will be ready to present those next phases which they’re calling 1B and 1C.

Pre-registering for the vaccine is simple. Go to the state website, fill out your basic information as well as what field you work in and your zip code. Dr. Collins and the Human Services Department Secretary Dr. David Scrase says both will likely be factors of whatever phase you end up falling into. “Certainly, essential workers are in line and we need to figure out how we sub-prioritize within those groups and do that equitably also age 75 and older are in line with essential workers so we are in the planning phases now,” Dr. Collins said.

No matter what group you’re in after you register, you’ll get a text message from the state. Based on your group, it will tell you where to go or to keep waiting. So far, the state has received about 60,000 doses of the vaccine, and area hospitals plan to have their patient-care staff all vaccinated within the next two to three weeks. The state estimates about 70% of New Mexicans will want the vaccine, that’s about 1.4 million people.