COVID-19

This new page on the Beat, as of March 18, 2020, will be dedicated to news on COVID-19 as we receive it. Some articles in front page news, in legal notices,  columns, in sports, in editorials or letters to the editor, as well as in local and non-local news releases may also pertain to COVID-19. So please look at all pages in the Beat for ongoing news.

We Must Reach 60% in COVID-19 Vaccinations

SANTA FE – New Mexico state health officials urge New Mexicans to help reach 60% vaccination rate by June 17th so that New Mexico can open its economy fully without any limitations by July 1st. New Mexico is only 40,810 vaccines away from meeting this goal. COVID-19 vaccines are safe, effective, and free. All New Mexicans 16 and older are eligible for the vaccine.

State health officials have added numerous vaccination events around the state to assist in reaching this goal. Go to vaccinenm.org and schedule your vaccine today.
Once you have been vaccinated, go to vax2themaxnm.org to opt-in to the Vax 2 the Max Sweepstakes. The Vax 2 the Max Sweepstakes is a statewide vaccination incentive program that will make available $10 million in total prize money to New Mexicans who receive their COVID-19 vaccinations. Other prizes and awards will also be awarded throughout the summer. The first drawing is set for Friday, June 18th. Four winners will each receive $250,000, one winner per region. For further details on the Vax 2 the Max Sweepstakes, go to vax2themax nm.org.

State will begin vaccinating after full federal approval

SANTA FE - The New Mexico Department of Health reports the U.S. Food and Drug Administration approved this afternoon the Pfizer vaccine for administration to 12-15-year-olds. Now, the vaccine goes to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) for review. If approved by the CDC, New Mexico’s Medical Advisory Team (MAT) will conduct its own review. When the MAT affirms the federal review process, New Mexico will begin vaccinating 12-15-year-olds immediately.

When approved, parents will be able to pre-register their children for vaccination and choose their day and time, by scheduling online at VaccineNM.org

Additional information: 

(SANTA FE, NM—MAY 6)— On May 5, 2021, the New Mexico Public Regulation Commission (PRC) issued an order providing protection to customers who are waiting for an application for relief funds to process. The order comes just as moratoriums on disconnections expired on May 4, for small water, gas and rural electric cooperative utilities, allowing these utilities to begin serving disconnection notices to residential customers who were previously protected.

PRC considered emergency health conditions the highest priority and worked with utilities to ease concerns regarding disconnections.  Payment plans are being offered by utility companies to assist customers in paying off their past due balances. Rental assistance programs and other relief programs are now available that provide some utility assistance, as well. The PRC encourages utility customers with past due balances to reach out to their utility companies for assistance.

The most recent order issued by the PRC on Wednesday states that a customer cannot be disconnected while an application for relief funds (from the Emergency Rental Assistance Program or other state, federal, or private sources) is being processed.  

Primary care providers in a unique position to hold intimate, meaningful conversations with patients about vaccination

NEW MEXICO – The New Mexico Departments of Health, Aging and Long-Term Services, and Human Services today announced a new initiative to recruit primary care providers into the COVID-19 vaccine distribution effort. 

“At this point in our COVID-19 vaccine distribution, no group is more important than primary health care providers,” said DOH Cabinet Secretary Dr. Tracie Collins. “Primary care providers have longstanding relationships with their patients and are ideally placed to hold open, trusting conversations and encourage vaccinations. To support that work, DOH encourages providers to enroll as COVID-19 vaccine providers – and DOH will get you the doses you need to reach your patients.”

“COVID-19 vaccinations are the roadmap to successfully reopening,” said Dr. David Scrase, Secretary of the New Mexico Human Services Department.

Step 1: Get vaccinated. 
Step 2: Protect yourself and your family. 
Step 3: Help save lives.

The HHS COVID-19 public education campaign is a national initiative to increase public confidence in and uptake of COVID-19 vaccines while reinforcing basic prevention measures such as mask wearing and social distancing.

For more information go to the #WeCanDoThis Covid-19 Public Education Campaign

ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. – New Mexico has one of the most successful vaccination programs to fight COVID 19 among the fifty states. With the highest fully vaccinated rate in the nation, its centralized system for vaccine rollout has become the envy of all other states. The state’s approach to vaccination has been different from all  others and it’s working.  

According to the Center for Disease Control, New Mexico has ranked first or second in the nation for many weeks for vaccination rates – 53.7% of residents have received the first dose and 35.7% are fully vaccinated. 1,480,512 shots have been given and more than half of the state’s adults have received at least their first dose. 

What the country is starting to notice is that New Mexico’s amazing success came together because of an unprecedented and groundbreaking partnership between Real Time Solutions, an Albuquerque tech company,  the Governor and the New Mexico Department of Health (NMDOH).  

SANTA FE- New Mexico state health officials announced on Thursday that 4,001 New Mexicans have died due to COVID-19. 

“Today’s sad milestone reminds us of what we have been through as a state and as a country. This is not just another number  - they are our neighbors, our fellow New Mexicans. We grieve for them and their families. It also underscores the need for us to remain cautious in the weeks and months ahead. While New Mexico is leading the nation in vaccinations and staying vigilant with COVID-safe practices, we are not out of the woods. There is still much work still to be done. We need to remain vigilant if we are going to beat COVID,” said DOH Secretary Dr. Tracie Collins.

DOH urges New Mexicans to continue following all DOH- and CDC-recommended safe practices, including:

  • Wearing a mask that covers their nose and mouth.
  • Staying 6 feet apart from others outside of their household.

New Mexico Department of Health Hearing On “Shot of Truth: Communicating Trusted Vaccine Information”

Senate Committee on Commerce, Science, and Transportation, Subcommittee on Communications, Media, and Broadband

SANTA FE – Below is the transcript of New Mexico Department of Health Secretary Dr. Tracie Collins' testimony at today's Senate Committee on Commerce, Science and Transportation Subcommittee on Communications, Media, and Broadband:

Chairman Luján, Ranking Member Thune, and distinguished members of the subcommittee, I am pleased to testify before you today to discuss New Mexico’s efforts to disseminate accurate, timely information about vaccine safety to rural areas and communities of color, and to encourage more Americans to get vaccinated.

In New Mexico currently, more than 55% of the population has received at least one shot, and approximately 36% are fully vaccinated. Thanks to our state’s vaccine equity plan, this includes high proportions of minority and socially vulnerable communities.

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