Copyright © 2021 Albuquerque Journal
A New Mexico state medical advisory team has endorsed new Centers for Disease Control and Prevention recommendations on who should receive a booster shot of the Pfizer COVID-19 vaccine.
The CDC announced Friday that people 65 years old and older and long-term care residents should receive a booster vaccine at least six months after the initial two-dose regimen.
Individuals aged 50 to 65 with underlying medical conditions should also receive the Pfizer booster, the CDC advised.
The New Mexico Department of Health will release more information next week about scheduling booster appointments.
Health officials do not recommend “mixing one type of primary vaccine with a different type of booster vaccine,” according to a DOH news release.
The CDC also lists groups that “may receive” a booster vaccine shot:
• Individuals 18 to 49 who are at high risk for severe COVID-19 due to underlying medical conditions.
• And individuals 18 to 64 years who are at increased risk for COVID-19 exposure and transmission because of their occupation.
“By the end of October, more than 70% of New Mexicans who have received Pfizer primary series will be eligible for boosters,” according to the release.
Dr. Gregory Poland, an infectious diseases expert and head of the Mayo Clinic’s vaccine research group, said booster shots are a powerful tool as more people who have been previously infected or immunized contract the COVID-19 virus.
“Some of that we expect,” Poland told reporters in a video briefing Friday. “What’s at play here are multiple variables that have proven very difficult to tease apart one from the other … and that is the extraordinary transmissibility of the delta variant, time since second dose, our aging society, and our ability to pick up infection, including mild and asymptomatic infection by testing.”
New Mexico officials reported 714 new virus cases Friday and 14 deaths related to COVID-19, including two deaths that occurred more than 30 days ago.
There were 314 people hospitalized with the virus as of Friday. The state’s death toll from the virus is now 4,749.