San Juan County COVID-19 vaccination rates decline with children added; Aztec has 38% rate

Shiprock ZIP code has biggest drop in vaccination rate with children added

Joshua Kellogg
Farmington Daily Times
  • The most recently calculated rates on Nov. 21 saw eight of the 10 ZIP codes in San Juan County decline in terms of residents who are fully vaccinated that are five years of age and older.
  • There are four ZIP codes in San Juan County with less than 50 percent vaccination rates with the Nov. 21 update.
  • The 87401 ZIP code has consistently shown up in state health department’s daily COVID-19 updates for the top 10 ZIP codes with the most COVID-19 cases.

FARMINGTON — The eastern portions of San Juan County continue to lag behind the western portions of the area in terms of COVID-19 vaccination rates, with an Aztec ZIP Code showing less than 40 percent of residents fully vaccinated.

All ZIP Codes in the county all saw a reduction in their vaccination rates as the state of New Mexico adds children five years and older to the formula to calculate the rates.

The San Juan County Public Health Office provided The Daily Times with COVID-19 vaccination rates for San Juan County by ZIP Code this week.

Related:Eastern San Juan County has lower COVID-19 vaccination rates than western portion

Traffic moves past a sign in Shiprock that encourages community members to get the COVID-19 vaccine.

The most recently calculated rates on Nov. 21 saw eight of the 10 ZIP Codes in San Juan County decline in terms of residents who are fully vaccinated that are five years of age and older, according to the New Mexico Department of Health.

Previous figures were calculated with residents 12 years or older.

The Daily Times was unable to find a figure for San Juan County’s overall vaccination rate as the state health department website appeared to display incorrect data on the morning of Nov. 23.

Rita Abboud, a certified nurse practitioner at the San Juan County Public Health Office in Farmington, told The Daily Times the updated vaccination rates give a more accurate picture of how the county is performing.

Abboud added the data continues show ZIP Codes in eastern San Juan County are performing worse than those in the western portions of the county.

“We are still under 50 percent in some places,” Abboud said. “We definitely still have a lot of work to do.”

The biggest drop was the Shiprock 87420 ZIP Code, which went from 100 percent to 90.6 percent. It was followed by the 87416 ZIP code in Fruitland, dropping from 89 percent to 79.8 percent, according to state health department data.

More:San Juan County COVID-19 vaccination rates decline with teens added to calculations

There are four ZIP Codes in San Juan County with less than 50 percent vaccination rates with the Nov. 21 update.

The lowest performing ZIP Code is 87410 in Aztec, with 37.9 percent fully vaccinated. It dropped from 41.6 percent on the Nov. 7 update, which included those 12 years and older.

Representatives from the San Juan County Public Health Office operated a booth on Aug. 12, 2021 at the San Juan County Fair, offering COVID-19 vaccines to fair attendees.

The 87415 ZIP code in the La Plata area has the second-lowest vaccination rate in the county with 45.3 percent. Bloomfield, in the 87413 ZIP Code, was close behind with a 46 percent vaccination rate.

The 87401 ZIP Code in Farmington, the most populated ZIP Code in the county, had vaccination rate of 47.6 percent.

Abboud noted the 87401 ZIP Code has consistently shown up in state health department’s daily COVID-19 updates for the top 10 ZIP Codes with the most COVID-19 cases.

For the three-day update released on Nov. 22, the 87401 ZIP Code had 128 of the 312 COVID-19 cases reported in San Juan County, according to the New Mexico Department of Health.

San Juan Regional Medical Center has also called out the 87401 ZIP Code in Farmington along with ZIP Codes in Aztec and Bloomfield for increasing COVID-19 spread that is overloading the hospital with COVID-19 patients.

Abboud urged anyone in the community who has not obtained a COVID-19 vaccination to get one.

She cited how unvaccinated COVID-19 patients continue to be admitted, intubated and in some cases pass away in large numbers in contrast to those who are vaccinated.

“It really leaves no question in your mind that the vaccine works, and it’ll be more likely to keep you out of the hospital.,” Abboud said.

A San Juan Regional Medical Center medical professional prepares a COVID-19 vaccine dose in an undated photo.

Pediatric COVID-19 vaccinations more readily available in San Juan County

The county public health office did see a large turnout for its initial COVID-19 vaccination clinics for children five years and older earlier this month, with about 99 children from ages 5 to 11 turning out for a Nov. 9 clinic.

The turnout for recent clinics is down a little bit, Abboud said.

She added that was kind of expected, as retail pharmacies in the area started to receive the pediatric doses of the Pfizer-BioNTech COVID-19 vaccine.

“I think that for a very short period, we were kind of the only game in town,” Abboud said. “We wanted to really make sure that were making it as accessible as possible.”

Information on scheduling a vaccine or finding a vaccine site can be found at https://vaccinenm.org.

Joshua Kellogg covers breaking news for The Daily Times. He can be reached at 505-564-4627 or via email at jkellogg@daily-times.com.

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