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New Mexico State University hosted its first full-scale New Mexico Department of Health COVID-19 vaccination event on Jan. 8, providing space, volunteer personnel and logistical support for the distribution of more than 600 doses of the vaccine to eligible members of the community. Two additional events are scheduled for later this month.

The events are only open to individuals who have received a notification from the Department of Health that they are eligible to receive the vaccine at NMSU on the specified date. New Mexico residents – and those employed by a New Mexico employer, such as NMSU – must visit https://vaccinenm.org to register to receive the vaccine. NMDOH now has a COVID-19 vaccine hotline at 1-855-600-3453 for users who have questions or would like support with the registration process – including those who do not have internet access.

The Jan. 8 event followed a smaller point-of-distribution event at the end of December designed to test out traffic flow and other logistical plans.

NMDOH is making the vaccine available to residents in a phased approach, beginning with healthcare workers, first responders and long-term care facility residents in Phase 1A. Phase 1B, which extends the allocation to individuals who are 75 or older, those 16 or older with a chronic medical condition, frontline essential workers and other vulnerable populations, including educators providing face-to-face instruction, is now underway. More information about the phased rollout can be found in the State of New Mexico COVID-19 Vaccine Allocation Plan, available at https://cv.nmhealth.org/wp-content/uploads/2021/01/2021.1.8-DOH-Phase-Guidance.pdf

“We encourage every New Mexican, including our NMSU system faculty, staff and students, to register right away on the website so they can be notified as soon as the vaccine is available to them,” said NMSU Deputy Fire Chief Louis Huber, who is leading the university’s vaccine distribution team. “Decisions about who will receive the vaccine are made by the Department of Health, so preregistering online is the key to getting vaccinated as soon as possible.”

Huber said the NMDOH goal is to vaccinate 160,000 people in Doña Ana County, and future vaccine distribution events are planned at both the NMSU Las Cruces campus and Doña Ana Community College to support that effort.

For more information about the state’s COVID-19 vaccination plans, visit https://cv.nmhealth.org/covid-vaccine. For more information about NMSU’s ongoing pandemic response, visit https://now.nmsu.edu

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