ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. (KRQE) – As the number of COVID-19 cases among the vaccinated grows in New Mexico, the state announced a booster shot is now a requirement for a lot of the workforce. “Getting people fully vaccinated is still New Mexico’s first priority,” said NMDOH Acting Secretary Dr. David Scrase during a press conference on Wednesday, and as of Thursday, fully vaccinated means three shots.

The updated public health order now requires healthcare workers, along with school and state employees to get their booster if they’re due. Right now, New Mexico is leading the charge in getting that third shot in people’s arms. More than 370,000 New Mexicans have already received their booster.

While Dr. David Scrase says we’re doing well, a lot of New Mexicans still haven’t gotten it, and the state is still encouraging everyone to sign up.

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Julie Wray says she works in education and didn’t hesitate to get her booster. “I think it’s important to keep people safe,” Wray said.

Rita Montano, a pharmacist in Albuquerque says she didn’t think twice either. She says she knows there might be some hesitancy to get the third booster but that it’s important to follow the science. “A lot of data and the science is showing that after the first two shots, there’s a waning of your immunity, so getting the booster shot is important,” said Montano.

The state’s top doctor says while vaccinated people made up about 29% of new cases last month, they were far less likely to be hospitalized or die. The public health order says workers must receive their booster no later than January 17, or within four weeks of becoming eligible.

The FDA approved booster shots six months after completing a Pfizer or Moderna vaccination series, or two months after a Johnson & Johnson. KRQE News 13 reached out to the three major hospitals in the metro, Lovelace Hospitals says about half of their employees have already received boosters.