NEW MEXICO (KRQE) – New Mexico is vaccinating faster than all but two states and the state’s Department of Health believes the numbers will only improve as the state is expecting a bigger allotment of the vaccine for the next few weeks. So far, roughly 10% of New Mexicans have received their first shot. DOH said the first six weeks of vaccine distribution showed them that they could be distributing a lot more.
“The issue isn’t that we’re going to run out, the issue is that we can’t go quite as fast as we want to,” Matt Bieber, spokesperson with DOH, said. “We’re going to keep getting shipments, they’re pretty regular, they’re just not as large as we hoped.”
That sentiment is being seen at vaccination sites. Vaccinations at The Pit, Albuquerque’s largest vaccination site, are on pause to ensure second doses can be given.
Bieber said right now, the state receives about 56,000 doses of vaccine a week. Because those doses are split between first and booster shots, he said roughly, 28,00 new New Mexicans can start the vaccination process each week. However, that number could go up soon.
“We do have 16% more vaccines coming in this week and the next two weeks thanks to some choices made by the Biden administration. But we think we can distribute a good bit more than that as well,” Bieber said. He said the 15% shakes out to 7,000-8,000 more doses a week.
He said more New Mexicans will also be able to get their shot once the federal government approves more vaccines. There is potential to be four of them, including one that would only require one shot instead of two. As of January 31, nearly 274,500 doses of vaccine had been administered in New Mexico.