ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. (KRQE) – While most people are waiting to get their first COVID-19 vaccine, some people are ready for their second. Some people said they are becoming anxious about receiving little to no information on when they can schedule their second dose, and they said they fear they will fall through the cracks.
More than 200,000 people across New Mexico have received their first vaccine dose, but some people said the issue is trying to get a hold of the second one. “At this point, I am in limbo,” Albuquerque resident Stephanie Skaggs said. “I am hoping there will be enough vaccine supply to get my vaccine dose.”
Skaggs said she received her first dose of Moderna at Optum Journal Center in Albuquerque 10 days ago. She said she’s in the dark about when she can schedule her second one. “There has been no communication whatsoever,” Skaggs said.
More than a dozen other people posted online saying they are having the same problem. Some people said they got their first dose the first week of January and still have yet to receive a notification to schedule the second one. Others said they have received messages from Optum saying that there is no availability for second doses at this time. People said they’ve called Optum and the New Mexico Department of Health to get this resolved but to no avail. “It is really hard to get any kind of answers out of anyone,” Skaggs said.
KRQE News 13 contacted the New Mexico Department of Health who said second doses are available, but they don’t have enough supply to offer people a variety of choices about when and where to get the second dose. NMDOH said they will be communicating with registered users more frequently about the vaccine rollout process. “That is the only thing breaking down,” Skaggs said. “There is no way that if you have questions, or trying to figure out the next steps, there is not a lot of help out there.”
After KRQE News 13 contacted the state and Optum, Skaggs got a text saying she now can register for her second dose. Optum said Monday evening that now anyone who got their first dose from Optum will get their appointment confirmation within the next 24 hours. “We are in the process of booking appointments through the state’s portal for people to receive their second dose of the COVID-19 vaccine on time,” Optum said in a statement. “Anyone who got their first dose from Optum can expect a phone call, text or email from that state portal with an appointment confirmation within the next 24 hours.”
“At least we have some sort of system here,” Skaggs said. “It may be a little broken, but at least we have some sort of system here in New Mexico.”
People said they have also had issues scheduling second doses at Presbyterian Kaseman, claiming the hospital told them the schedule for February is not ready. Presbyterian told us that they unexpectedly received fewer vaccines this week, and they will be contacting people to schedule their second dose within the recommended time frame.
NMDOH said it is unaware of instances here where people had to wait much longer than the standard 21 to 28 days for second doses.