NEW MEXICO –The State’s Aging and Long-Term Services Department [ALTSD] has announced that by Friday, January 22nd all 309 of New Mexico’s Nursing Homes and Assisted Living Facilities (including staff and residents) will have been offered the first dose of the Moderna COVID-19 vaccine. Now the department is working to register currently-eligible populations (people 75+ years of age and individuals with underlying health conditions), as well as individuals who will be eligible in upcoming phases. (The state’s vaccine distribution plan is available here.) ALTSD is partnering with the Governor’s Commission on Disability as well as the New Mexico Developmental Disabilities Planning Council to get individuals registered at VaccineNM.org
New Mexico is one of the only states in the country with a vaccine registration portal. Officials are encouraging New Mexicans to use the portal to register for the vaccine as soon as possible, by either visiting the COVID vaccine website, calling the Aging and Disabilities Resource Center at 1-800-432-2080, or calling the Department of Health 1-855-600-3453.
“The more New Mexicans that register, the better equipped we will be to ensure our aging population and people living with disabilities and/or underlying health conditions receive the COVID vaccine,” said ALTSD Cabinet Secretary Katrina Hotrum-Lopez. “We are working with our entire network and all of our providers to coordinate vaccine clinics across the state. The registration portal is a key part of our strategy. So please register yourself and then register your parents or grandparents, especially if you are their caregiver.”
Alice Liu McCoy, Executive Director of the New Mexico Developmental Disabilities Planning Council [DDPC], echoed the urgency, “DDPC is committed to ensuring all New Mexicans living with disabilities have access to the vaccine, but we need your help. If you are currently eligible for the vaccine, or you care for someone that is eligible, please call the ADRC or visit the vaccine website to register today. Communication is essential to a successful COVID vaccine rollout in our state.”
Governor’s Commission on Disability Director Linnea Forsythe said her agency will be working to educate their partners and constituents to encourage registration, “By registering online or over the phone, we can all play an important part in making sure those who are vulnerable receive this vaccine in a fair and expedient manner. We are working with our state and community partners to provide information about vaccine registration and encourage anyone who has questions about the vaccine to call the Department of Health’s vaccine hotline at 1-855-600-3453. Each vaccination brings us one step closer to being free of COVID.”
ALTSD is working with senior centers across the state as well as national and local pharmacies to coordinate and schedule drive-through COVID vaccine clinics at the centers or buildings with footprints that can accommodate the activity. In the meantime, New Mexicans still need to adhere to the public health order- wearing a mask, social distancing, and avoiding group gatherings.
Register for the vaccine by calling 1(800) 432-2080 or by visiting VaccineNM.org