NEW MEXICO (KRQE) – Governor Michelle Lujan Grisham said the state can fully reopen in July if 60% of eligible New Mexicans are fully vaccinated. So what will it take to get there? A big part of the message from state officials is to make sure those in the queue get their second dose and incentivize even more New Mexicans to sign up for the vaccine.
“Our job is to protect New Mexicans, save lives, keep people from being sick,” said Gov. Lujan Grisham during a virtual news conference on Wednesday. She said the best way to do that is by encouraging more people to get vaccinated against COVID-19.
If the state can get 60% of eligible New Mexicans fully vaccinated by the end of June, “We are open,” the governor said.
“I’m extremely excited,” said Diane Gunnmiles. “I’ve had both my vaccines and so has my husband, so we’re ready to get out there.”
So what will it take to get to 60% full vaccinations? Currently, 42.4% of eligible New Mexicans are fully vaccinated. The target is to get 1,008,363 people fully vaccinated. According to the state, 270,725 people need their second dose.
If everyone in the queue gets their second dose, the state also needs an additional 24,849 more New Mexicans to sign up and get vaccinated.
“If anyone’s hesitant or kind of considering, do I really want to do this? Do I have to?” Dr. Tracie Collins, Secretary for the state’s Department of Health addressed vaccine hesitancy during Wednesday’s virtual news conference.
“You know, get the facts. Talk with your primary care provider, talk with your pastor, talk with a friend or family member who has been vaccinated about their experience,” said Dr. Collins. “And make an informed decision that you really wanna protect yourself, and your loved ones.”
Under the state’s new reopening criteria, vaccination rates in each county will be taken into account when it comes to capacity limits and which businesses can stay open. “I chose to get it just for the safety of my family,” explained Adrianne, a New Mexico resident.
While most people KRQE News 13 talked to on Thursday, didn’t mind sharing whether they got a vaccine, not everyone said they’d feel comfortable trying to convince others.
“I don’t feel like it’s my right to kind of convince them otherwise,” said Adrianne. “If they choose to do it, fine. If they don’t then that’s their choice.”
So what will it take to find another 25,000 New Mexicans who want the vaccine? Lately, about 3,000 New Mexicans a day have been joining the vaccine push. Earlier this month, more than 10,000 people a day were signing up for their first shot.
On Friday, April 30, most of the state will be considered green and turquoise, according to the state’s reopening criteria. Data in each county will be recalculated every two weeks starting Wednesday until the state reaches that 60% mark.