Copyright © 2021 Albuquerque Journal
SANTA FE – New Mexico health officials asked physicians and other health care providers Monday to prioritize high-risk patients as they start administering booster doses of the Pfizer vaccine against COVID-19.
The booster shot is available only to people who received the Pfizer vaccine at least six months ago. Residents who got a different vaccine are not yet eligible for a booster.
But, for Pfizer booster dose, the Department of Health is asking providers to focus on two high-risk groups – patients 65 and over, or people at least 50 years old with certain medical conditions, such as diabetes, chronic lung diseases or high blood pressure.
Patients who fit the criteria are encouraged to call their primary care provider or pharmacist to schedule their booster shot or check their eligibility. They may also use the statewide registration website – vaccineNM.org – to schedule a dose.
State health officials encouraged people to get a flu shot at the same time they get their COVID-19 vaccine booster.
In addition to the first priority groups, federal recommendations also make two other categories of people eligible for booster shots – people 18 and older who have certain health conditions and people who work in high-risk settings, such as health care, education, transit, grocery stores and law enforcement.
But they are a lower priority than the older patients.
Booster doses aren’t yet available for anyone who received the Moderna or Johnson & Johnson vaccines.
The Department of Health on Monday reported:
• 70.4% of New Mexico adults are fully vaccinated.
• 273 patients are hospitalized for COVID-19 in New Mexico, a 12% decrease from a week ago.
• 15 additional COVID-19 deaths, bringing the statewide death toll to 4,764 residents. People who are not fully vaccinated make up 86% of the deaths in the past four weeks.
• 1,548 new cases over the past three days, including 452 in Bernalillo County and 21 among federal detainees in Otero County.