NMDOH answers community’s vaccine questions in Instagram Q&A

Vaccine

SANTA FE, N.M. (KRQE) – While New Mexico is among the best in the country right now distributing COVID-19 vaccines, there are a lot of questions surrounding the strategy. Now, the New Mexico Department of Health is going a new route to answer them — holding a public Q&A on Instagram.

Here’s one the NMDOH keeps hearing — with Pfizer and Moderna already in use, and the possibility of more brands like AstraZeneca and Johnson & Johnson coming soon — can people cancel if they’re offered an appointment and wait to get the one they want? The state says you can — but there’s no guarantee you’ll get another offer soon.

“Broadly speaking, we’re doing our best to encourage folks to take what they’re offered,” said Matt Bieber, communications director for the NMDOH. “Because one — the faster we get everybody individually vaccinated, the faster we get our community vaccinated.”

Another question the state gets a lot — if someone who’s elderly or has a major health condition registered early on, how can someone who registered later get a vaccine before them? NMDOH says everything is randomized and the registry is not a line. They also answered why some counties are getting more doses per capita than others.

“What changed over time was that in some places, some providers were more aggressive about distributing vaccine, filling out those schedules, getting people in the door, getting shots in arms,” said Bieber. “Where providers were a little more aggressive, we sent more vaccine.”

New Mexicans also wanted to know what happens if the supply dries up before they’ve gotten their second shots. The state says in that case, they would halt first dose appointments and instead, use their supply to get all booster shots done on time.

The NMDOH says they plan to launch mobile units soon. The NMDOH also says it will hold more of these public Q&A’s in the future, with another one coming in the next few weeks.

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