Briefs

Vaccines available for children in NM

By: - June 23, 2022 11:20 am

(Photo by Koldoy Chris / Getty Images)

Parents of children ages 6 months to 5 years can schedule appointments for COVID-19 vaccinations, the New Mexico Department of Health announced this week.

Pre-ordered doses of Moderna and Pfizer vaccines began arriving in New Mexico on Monday and were distributed to clinics throughout the state. The Moderna vaccine requires two doses; the Pfizer vaccine requires three.

Tuesday’s announcement follows recent approvals by the Food and Drug Administration and Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

Acting DOH Secretary David Scrase said in a news release he was thrilled to reach the milestone of vaccine eligibility for the state’s youngest residents.

“As I’ve often said, vaccinating everyone provides the best defense against serious outcomes related to COVID-19,” he said. “I am enormously relieved to offer my grandchildren this critical tool, and no doubt join so many others in celebrating this long-awaited day.”

About 5,000 to 7,500 vaccine doses are expected to arrive by June 27, with a steady flow of new doses to follow, according to the department.

Parents who wish to get their children vaccinated must schedule an appointment through the DOH website (VaccineNM.org). Those without internet access can call 855-600-3453. Parents and caregivers can also call their health care provider or preferred pharmacy to check for available appointments.

As with vaccinations for other age groups, vaccines for those ages 6 months to 5 years are available at no charge. No identification is required to be vaccinated, and vaccines are available to New Mexicans regardless of immigration status.

The DOH said more than 2,200 appointments are available statewide, and an estimated 75% of vaccinations for those younger than 5 will be administered by health care practitioners or primary care providers. This is a shift from previous COVID-19 vaccine rollouts where pharmacies performed the majority of vaccinations.

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Ryan Lowery
Ryan Lowery

Ryan Lowery is an award-winning independent journalist based in Albuquerque. He covers politics and criminal justice and has reported on New Mexico for the Las Vegas Optic, Santa Fe Reporter, Los Angeles Times and others.

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