Young children now eligible for COVID vaccines in NM - Albuquerque Journal

Young children now eligible for COVID vaccines in NM

Pharmacist Kaitlin Harring, left, administers a Moderna COVID-19 vaccination to three year-old Fletcher Pack, while he sits on the lap of his mother, McKenzie Pack, at Walgreens pharmacy Monday, June 20, 2022, in Lexington, S.C. (AP Photo/Sean Rayford)

Youngsters in New Mexico are now eligible for COVID-19 vaccines and doses for that age group have started to arrive, the state Department of Health announced this week.

The announcement comes as New Mexico saw a significant decline in COVID-related hospitalizations in a recent week-long period.

This week, acting Health Secretary David Scrase announced that New Mexico residents as young as six months through four years old can start receiving the shots. The state’s announcement comes after the Food and Drug Administration and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention recently recommended them for young children.

“After holding our collective breath for more than two years, we are thrilled to reach the milestone of vaccine eligibility for the littlest members of our families,” Scrase said in a prepared statement. “I am enormously relieved to offer my grandchildren this critical tool.”

Doses for children in that age group began arriving in the state on Monday. Appointments for those shots can be made at VaccineNM.org.

The state is expecting to have between 5,000 to 7,500 vaccine doses for children by June 27, and for additional doses to arrive after that, according to a DOH news release.

Meanwhile, the state reported 6,268 new COVID cases during a recent week-long period, according to the weekly epidemiology reports dated June 20. That was about the same number of new cases as the week before.

The number of new hospitalizations recently declined. There were 84 people with COVID admitted to hospitals in a recent week-long period. That was down from 122 hospital admissions the week before.

On Thursday, the state reported 1,450 new cases and eight more deaths, bringing the toll to 7,899 deaths since the onset of the pandemic.

There were 194 people with COVID hospitalized throughout the state on Thursday, according to the Health Department.

Editor’s note: This article originally misreported Thursday’s COVID data.

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