NEW MEXICO (KRQE) – It’s been about a week since children ages 5 to 11 have been able to get the COVID-19 vaccine. So, how many New Mexican kids in that age group have received the shot so far? The New Mexico Department of Health said there are about 188,000 New Mexicans ages 5 to 11. So far, about a thousand or fewer than 1%, have gotten their first COVID vaccine shot.
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“While it may sound like a low number, we know that the interest is out there to be able to get their children vaccinated as soon as they can,” said David Morgan, New Mexico Department of Health spokesperson.
Morgan said the number may be low because pharmacies and pediatrician offices are still waiting for shipments of vaccines and that there is a two-day lag with daily numbers. On Friday, the Entrada Contenta Health Center in Santa Fe hosted a vaccination clinic for 5 to 11-year-olds and 60 spots filled up quickly.
NMDOH expects the numbers to rise soon and is gearing up for a TV and social media push to let parents know vaccines are available for kids and show them how to register kids for the vaccine.
“Delta was very much a gamechanger for all of this. The Delta variant led to more cases, more hospitalizations, more serious illnesses, it led to people already vaccinated in some cases getting the virus again. and while it didn’t necessarily affect their health, it could’ve affected the people around them,” said Morgan. “Really truly the more people that are vaccinated the better off we are going to be and that is true of any age.”
On the vaccine dashboard, it shows 29 five-to-11-year-olds have completed the Pfizer vaccine series, which takes weeks and the vaccine has only been available to that age group for about a week. NMDOH said it is working through its data to see if dates were entered wrong but also said there may be a small number of kids who participated in clinical trials.
Pfizer is the only COVID-19 vaccine approved for 5 to 11-year-olds. The dosage is lower than what is given to people 12 and older. NMDOH did not have an updated number on how many New Mexicans are eligible for booster shots saying it changes every day but according to the vaccine dashboard, about 14% of New Mexicans have gotten a booster shot. Pfizer did seek FDA authorization on Tuesday for boosters for all adults.