Frequently asked questions about the COVID-19 vaccine distribution process in San Juan County
AZTEC — There has been some confusion as New Mexico works to vaccinate residents for COVID-19.
A total of 27,562 San Juan County residents had either received one or both of the COVID-19 shots as of Feb. 12, according to the New Mexico Department of Health vaccine dashboard.
The vaccine is free and everyone is encouraged to get vaccinated once they are eligible under New Mexico Department of Health and U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention guidelines.
The department of health and the CDC have implemented a phased approach to make sure the people who are most vulnerable or most likely to be exposed to the coronavirus are prioritized for the vaccine.
There are two vaccines that have been approved for COVID-19. Both the Pfizer and Moderna vaccine require a booster. People should wear a mask to their vaccination appointment and continue wearing a mask even after they have been vaccinated.
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Here are some things people should know about vaccination in New Mexico:
Who is eligible for the vaccine?
Not everyone is eligible to receive a vaccine at this point, and this has created confusion as some people get vaccinated and others don't. The following groups of people are eligible for vaccines:
- Healthcare workers including hospital personnel and home health providers
- First responders
- Residents and staff of long-term care facilities
- People who work in congregate settings
- People who are 75 years old or older
- People who are 16 years old or older and have a greater risk of COVID-19 complications
How do people know when they are able to get the vaccine?
People should register for the vaccine at cvvaccine.nmhealth.org. Once registered, you will receive an email and text confirmation. This does not mean that you will be able to get the vaccine immediately. When it is your turn, you will be notified and given a special event code to use to schedule the appointment.
In addition to allowing you to schedule an appointment, this code will also allow you to select a place. Some of the places where people are receiving COVID-19 vaccines in San Juan County include Walmart, San Juan College and McGee Park. Not every doctor or pharmacy is distributing the vaccine.
New Mexico Department of Health spokesman Matt Bieber said in an email that no one should show up to a state vaccination site without having an appointment confirmation.
People who live in Aztec, Bloomfield, Blanco or Navajo Dam areas and are eligible for the vaccine can also sign up to receive it from Kare Drug by going to karedrug.com.
The Indian Health Services has a different method for distributing vaccines than the New Mexico Department of Health. There are several clinics on the Navajo Nation that allow patients who receive care from IHS and are at least 18 years old to receive the vaccine.
How do people register for the vaccine who do not have internet access?
The Farmington Public Library is allowing people to use computers to register for the vaccine.
Bieber said people who have questions or would like support registering, including people who don't have access to the internet, can call 1-855-600-3453. They should press option 0 for vaccine questions and then option four for tech support. He said the wait time is usually a minute or two.
Additionally, senior centers are working with their clientele, who often do not have email or cell phones, to get them registered for the vaccine, Bieber said.
San Juan County entities have been doing vaccine clinics at the local senior centers.
Hannah Grover covers government for The Daily Times. She can be reached at 505-564-4652 or via email at firstname.lastname@example.org.
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