ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. (KRQE) – The COVID booster shot rate is off to a slow start in New Mexico. According to early numbers from the state’s Department Of Health, a lot of people eligible for the shot are taking their time to get it.
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Booster shots are available for hundreds of thousands of New Mexicans who got the Pfizer vaccine more than six months ago. But so far, less than a quarter of them have gotten one.
“We’re not quite sure why only 22% of people decided to get their booster shot. We have made availability throughout the state to get the booster. A lot of the locations where we have opened vaccine shots, there haven’t been as high uptake as we thought,” said Dr. Laura Parajon, Deputy Secretary for NMDOH.
Dr. Parajon said the state has heard stories about seniors having difficulty getting the vaccine at pharmacies. NMDOH said as of October, 350,000 New Mexicans are eligible for a Pfizer booster shot. As of Monday, October 18, 85,895 New Mexicans have gotten a booster shot. The state said it’s working to get that number up, especially with Moderna and Johnson & Johnson booster shots on the horizon.
“Pharmacies right now have been carrying the load of getting people vaccinated. We are going to start you know, in various parts of the state, starting to ramp up again our ability to provide vaccinations,” said David Morgan, NMDOH spokesperson.
The state said it’s working on contracts to bring more vaccination clinics and mobile vaccine efforts. New Mexicans 65 and older, adults with underlying health conditions, and people who work in high-risk settings are eligible for the booster right now, six months after their second dose. There is no word yet on when people without health conditions will be eligible for a Pfizer booster shot.
On Monday, New Mexico health officials said they anticipate Moderna and Johnson & Johnson booster shots to be approved by the FDA by the end of the week.