New Mexico continues to urge vaccines as delta variant spreads

Vaccine

ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. (KRQE) – New Mexico hit its 60% vaccination goal last month, but there are still some holdouts. So, will the more transmissible delta variant motivate people to finally get their shot? Where does the state stand in terms of vaccine status? The New Mexico Department of Health said the state is in good shape when it comes to vaccination status but there is still more work to be done.


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“It depends on how you slice it. On one hand, we’re doing well compared to other states and certainly compared to other countries. On the other hand, we’ve got this delta variant out there spreading like wildfire and you know we’re not going to be happy while that’s still happening,” said Matt Bieber, Communications Director for NMDOH.

Bieber said COVID-19 vaccinations have slowed down in the state over the last month. As of July 29, 2021, 64.6% of the state was fully vaccinated. “There is national data that suggests that delta is motivating people to come out of the woodwork and get vaccinated. Folks that might’ve not been as concerned previously,” said Bieber.

While the overall vaccine numbers have slowed down, there has been a slight uptick in recent days of 12-17-year-olds getting vaccinated. In a two-day span this week, the number of 12-17-year-olds getting their first shot went up half a percent to nearly 80,000. The amount of this age group getting their second shot went up 0.2% during this same time period.

“They’ve risen a little. It’s a small uptick but an uptick. I suspect it has to do with the promotions we’ve been doing around the ‘Got Shots’ campaign and just the general back to school vaccination effort,” said Bieber.

The state is trying to get more New Mexicans vaccinated and is offering a second round of $100 incentives to do it. New this time around, people can get the money from getting a first, second, or one-time COVID vaccine shot. Like last time, kids 12-17 getting the shot can also get the money if there is consent from a parent or guardian. Payments will not be given on-site this time, but electronically or by mail.

The last $100 incentive ran four days during June. According to the state, it resulted in a 333% increase in the one-dose Johnson and Johnson vaccines and a 26% overall increase in completed vaccinations. The new vaccine incentive program will run from August 2 through the end of the month.

KRQE News 13 asked how many vaccinated New Mexicans have contracted COVID-19. NMDOH said it doesn’t do daily tracking but from February 1, when the first people in New Mexico became fully vaccinated, until July 19, there were 1,298 infections of vaccinated people out of nearly 31,000 cases. Of those, 134 vaccinated people were hospitalized and 10 died, all of those 10 had underlying health conditions. The state said this is evidence the vaccine works to reduce not only the outbreak but the severity of cases.

Copyright 2021 Nexstar Media Inc. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.

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