More than 20,000 San Juan County residents have received the COVID-19 vaccine so far

Hannah Grover
Farmington Daily Times

AZTEC — More than 20,000 San Juan County residents have received at least one dose of the COVID-19 vaccine as of Feb. 5, according to the New Mexico Department of Health dashboard.

This comes as businesses and government entities team up to offer clinics and appointments for residents seeking the COVID-19 vaccine.

New Mexico is currently vaccinating people who are in categories 1A and as well as certain people in the 1B category. This includes healthcare workers who provide direct services to patients, people 75 years old or older and people who have underlying conditions that put them more at risk of complications from COVID-19.

One of the smaller vaccine providers is Kare Drug, an independent pharmacy with locations in Aztec and Bloomfield. The pharmacy hosted two vaccine clinics the last weekend of January in Aztec and in Bloomfield. These clinics were open to people who live in the Aztec, Bloomfield, Blanco and Navajo Dam communities.

A syringe containing the Pfizer-BioNTech COVID-19 vaccine is seen on Dec. 31, 2020 at Gallup Indian Medical Center in Gallup. More than 20,000 San Juan County residents have been vaccinated.

According to the Kare Drug COVID vaccine line, the pharmacy’s top priority are people who live in those communities or currently receive their prescriptions from Kare Drug.

More COVID-19 coverage:County schools set to offer expanded hybrid learning to middle/high school students

During an update on vaccination, San Juan County Emergency Manager Mike Mestas told the County Commission that Kare Drug’s Aztec clinic vaccinated 100 people and the Bloomfield clinic vaccinated 140 people.

"I give kudos to Kare Drug for being able to take care of the community of Aztec and Bloomfield, Blanco and Navajo Dam," he said.

The clinic was done on a first-come, first-serve basis and, unlike many other clinics that have occurred in the area, this one did not require prior registration.

Kare Drug has a registration service available online at karedrug.com for people who are 75 years old or older and live in one of the priority communities to sign up to get vaccinated at Kare Drug. The pharmacy also encourages them to register with the state’s vaccination registration at cvvaccine.nmhealth.org.

As of Feb. 2, San Juan Regional Medical Center had provided 3,454 vaccinations including 2,042 first doses and 1,412 second doses, according to information provided by Mestas.

Get the latest updates:COVID-19 cases in northwest New Mexico and Navajo Nation

The New Mexico Department of Health is also running vaccination clinics at the San Juan College Human Health and Performance Center. People attending these clinics must have an authorization number from the New Mexico Department of Health. These occur twice a week.

"By the time we get to mid-February, they'll be doing 600-700 on those two days," Mestas said.

Mestas said the county will be working with Walgreens to vaccinate teachers or school staff who have medical conditions that increase their risk for complications from COVID-19. A clinic is being planned to provide those vaccinations.

Hannah Grover covers government for The Daily Times. She can be reached at 505-564-4652 or via email at hgrover@daily-times.com.

Support local journalism with a digital subscription: http://bit.ly/2I6TU0e