FARMINGTON – The state of New Mexico will move into Phase 2 of the COVID-19 vaccine eligibility criteria beginning Monday, when all New Mexicans 16 and older will be able to register for the vaccine.
The New Mexico Department of Health said vaccines will be prioritized for those 75 and older and those 60 and older with a chronic medical condition.
“The department has chosen to open Phase 2, however, because providers in some parts of the state are no longer able to fill appointments within (the first phase),” according to a news release.
“President Biden directed states to make all adults eligible for a vaccine by May 1,” said Department of Health Cabinet Secretary Dr. Tracie Collins. “New Mexico will meet that mark nearly a month early.”
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention also indicated to the department that the state can expect “meaningful increases in vaccine supply,” including the Johnson & Johnson single shot in coming weeks.
Dr. Brad Greenberg, an emergency medical physician and medical director of emergency preparedness at San Juan Regional Medical Center, said any and all eligible people should seek and receive any of the approved vaccines.
“To sustain the positive momentum related to the reduction in COVID cases, we need to get as many people vaccinated as possible, as soon as possible,” Greenberg said.
While Greenberg encouraged people to get their shot and mentioned the hospital’s vaccination program, he said it doesn’t matter where people get the shot.
“(The program is) only a part of a larger community-based effort to get these shots into people’s arms,” Greenberg said. “It doesn’t matter where you get the shot, just get it.”
Although vaccine eligibility will open to a large population of high school students, Farmington Municipal Schools said it will follow requirements and mandates set by the Department of Health, which has not indicated whether youths will be required to be vaccinated to be in school.
To receive a shot, New Mexicans must register online at vaccineNM.org.
For those who have already received the first shot of one of the two-shot vaccines, the state also announced Thursday that those who need the booster can schedule their own follow-up appointment time and location by logging into the vaccineNM.org system.