SANTA FE, N.M. (KRQE) – New data offers a glimpse into how far along New Mexico is in each phase of its plan to get people vaccinated against COVID-19 and how long before even more people could become eligible. Of those registered on the state’s vaccine website who fall into the first few eligible groups, about half have gotten at least one shot.
“Overall, we’re very pleased with our progress,” said Matt Bieber, communications director for the New Mexico Department of Health (NMDOH). “New Mexico is consistently number 1 or 2 or 3 in the country, in terms of vaccine administration rate.”
The first phase included healthcare workers and long-term care facilities, and numbers from the state’s registration system show nearly 77% of people in that category who registered have had at least one shot. It is nearly 67% in the next phase for people 75 and older and nearly 37% for people with medical conditions that put them at-risk of COVID complications.
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Altogether, it amounts to a total of 219,816 people. However, NMDOH said the actual number of New Mexicans who fall into those categories and have been vaccinated is higher.
“It is higher and here’s why: New Mexico is administering about half of the vaccinations to users who are registered through our state vaccination website, vaccinenm.org, and we’ve encouraged everybody to take part in that but not everybody is,” Bieber said.
Some healthcare providers are scheduling their own appointments with people directly instead of going through the state’s vaccine registration system. In that case, the providers do not have to report employment data to the state. That makes it difficult for NMDOH to precisely and easily keep track if someone got the shot because they were a nurse, for example.
The state is pushing to get K-12 educators, early childhood professionals, and staff their first shots by the end of this month. Then, the Department of Health said it could be another month before getting to other frontline essential workers, like police officers and grocery store workers.
You can register on the state’s COVID-19 vaccination system here: https://cvvaccine.nmhealth.org/