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Department of Health Reiterates Phased COVID-19 Vaccination Criteria

New Mexico Department of Health Logo State outline with text

The New Mexico Department of Health (NMDOH) on Friday, Jan. 22, 2021 reiterated the state’s phased vaccination criteria for COVID-19.

The following groups are currently eligible for vaccine:

  • Hospital personnel
  • Residents and staff of long-term care facilities
  • Medical first responders
  • Congregate setting workers
  • Persons providing direct medical care and other in-person services
  • Home-based health care and hospice workers
  • People 75-years old and older
  • People 16-years old and older who are at risk of COVID complications

No other groups are eligible at this time. As vaccine supply becomes more available, NMDOH will announce additional categories of eligibility. For more information – or to read New Mexico’s full vaccine distribution plan – please visit the state’s COVID-19 vaccine website.

“DOH needs to communicate clearly, consistently, and repeatedly about the state’s vaccination plan,” said state Health Secretary-Designate Dr. Tracie Collins. “But providers and other entities are also responsible for knowing – and following – that plan. That’s how we ensure that our limited supply of vaccine doses go to those who are most exposed or vulnerable to COVID-19. That’s how we save the most lives.”

Dr. Collins also addressed recent developments at the federal level. “The Biden Administration is proposing changes to America’s vaccine distribution plan. If those plans become law, New Mexico will adjust as appropriate. In the meantime, however, New Mexico’s phased vaccine distribution plan is authoritative.”

Earlier this month, NMDOH also issued updated operational requirements to all vaccine providers in New Mexico. Providers may vaccinate “out of subphase,” but only under very specific conditions – less than 80 percent of appointments have filled for three days, vaccine is about to expire within 48 hours, or if the Department of Heath notifies providers to begin vaccinating additional groups.

As reported in a wide range of national media outlets, New Mexico is vaccinating its residents faster than nearly every other state. New Mexicans can follow the state’s progress on the DOH Vaccine Dashboard.

As always, New Mexicans who wish to register for vaccine may do so at vaccineNM.org. Users will complete basic health and employment information, and NMDOH will notify them when a vaccine appointment is available at a provider in their area.

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