NEW MEXICO (KRQE) – Now that the COVID-19 vaccine is in New Mexico, health officials in one county are making sure they’ll be ready to distribute it to the public. “The staff that you see today they have been preparing for this for months,” said Los Lunas Fire Chief John Gabaldon.

Valencia County health officials want to make sure they’re ready when it’s time to administer the vaccine to the general public. “We are trying to simulate as much of the event as possible,” said registered nurse Tia Montoya.

Thursday, they held a dress rehearsal of sorts, a COVID-19 vaccine drill at Los Lunas High School to see how it would all play out. “We want to make people comfortable with what their role is on that particular day,” said Montoya.

Once participants checked in, they drove up to get their “vaccine.” Thursday, there were no actual needles involved. “Everybody is receiving a candy so they get to leave with some sugar in their system. And hopefully next time, they can leave with a vaccination,” said Gabaldon.

After the mock vaccination, they drove to another parking lot and waited 15 minutes. When the time comes for the actual vaccination, nurses will make sure the patients don’t have an adverse reaction. “I think they are doing everything they need to do,” said Janice Byrnes.

Those who participated in the drill on Thursday say it’s nice to know when the vaccine is available, the county will know what to do. Valencia County health officials say they don’t know when they might receive the vaccine.

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