ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. (KRQE) – While demand for the COVID-19 vaccine still outweighs supply, New Mexico continues to receive a growing number of doses each week. Now, new national forecasts indicate a huge wave of incoming doses may soon leave a lot of states with more shots than people to give them to.
The New York Times reports that Biden Administration officials are projecting a massive surplus of COVID-19 vaccine to hit the U.S. by mid-May. The Times reports the federal government has ordered enough vaccines to cover about 400 million people, while there are roughly 260 million adults in the U.S.
The expected surge in COVID-19 vaccine aligns with New Mexico health officials’ latest plan announced this week. The state is planning to open vaccination to all New Mexicans 16 and over by mid-April.
New Mexico still isn’t sure exactly how much vaccine it will receive by mid-April, which is still a few weeks away. Typically, the state places an order for vaccine one week in advance of receiving a shipment. However, the state has been clear to state that it is expecting more supply, while urging people to register for the online vaccine portal.
“Please register now, more supply is coming, we know we’re getting increased allocations from the federal government, we can be 99% confident we’ll open up to phase two mid-April or sooner,” New Mexico Department of Health Communications Director Matt Bieber said. “So be registered by the time all that happens, so that we can get you an invitation and your first shot as quickly as possible.
Next week, New Mexico is expected to receive as many as 116,280 total doses of the three COVID-19 vaccines. That shipment will include 12,100 doses of Johnson and Johnson’s single shot vaccine.
Johnson and Johnson’s vaccine may soon be the dominant shot rolling out across the U.S. The New York Times reports that later this year, Johnson and Johnson may be able to start manufacturing at a rate of 100 million doses a month. That would effectively be double Pfizer and Moderna’s current combined monthly delivery rate.
COVID-19 vaccines in general can last four to six months once they’ve been bottled. New Mexico health officials didn’t give KRQE News 13 an answer Friday when asked what happens when the state starts receiving enough vaccine to have a large surplus. However, the state is clearly expecting to have many more doses on hand soon and doesn’t want to be in the position of having too much on hand.
Nationally, a recent poll from the Pew Research Center indicated 70% of adults have indicated they’ll take the COVID-19 vaccine. In New Mexico, Presbyterian’s Health Services’ initial polling indicates nearly 80% of people they surveyed say they’d accept the COVID-vaccine.
More than 40% of the 1.68 million New Mexicans old enough to get the vaccine have done so at this point. The three approved vaccines also are now being tested in children.