ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. (KRQE) – The booster shot campaign is hitting a lull. Only half of New Mexico adults who got vaccinated against COVID have gotten their booster shot. So, what’s holding people up?
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The latest numbers from the state’s vaccine dashboard show about 76% of New Mexicans 18 and older are fully vaccinated. But despite PSAs from the New Mexico Department of Health, only about 38% of New Mexicans have gotten a booster shot.
People KRQE News 13 talked to on Wednesday who are vaccinated but not boosted say for them, the booster hasn’t been as accessible or convenient as the first doses. Dominic Bechtold said he only got vaccinated when someone offered it to him at Walmart.
“It wasn’t as easy to get as the first two I guess,” said Bechtold. KRQE asked if he would get boosted if offered at a convenience store, like his first two shots. “Sure, I’d take it,” said Bechtold.
Eric Chambers told us getting the booster didn’t work with his schedule.
“It didn’t fit my schedule,” he said. “I wanted to get it that day and I said, can I get it today? And they said ‘Oh no you have to come two days from now at 10 o’ clock.’ I said you know, I’m not used to things like that. I like to walk in like I did at Smith’s.”
On social media, people told News 13 they haven’t gotten a booster shot because they’re too busy, already got COVID-19, or got vaccinated and don’t feel vulnerable to the virus because of their age and health. Others said they got vaccinated, but feel like the goal post keeps moving with no end in sight.
This week, leaders from UNMH and Presbyterian said their hospitals are overwhelmed as COVID cases surge, fueled by the omicron variant. They urged people to get boosted to help them.
“If you have not been boosted and it’s due, please get boosted. It makes a big difference as to whether you get COVID. It also makes a big difference if you get it, how sick you get,” said Dr. Jason Mitchell, Chief Medical Officer at Presbyterian Health Services.
According to state numbers, in November, people were getting about 10,000 booster shots a day. That number’s down to about 4,000 a day in January.