ALBUQUERQUE, NM (AP) – One of New Mexico’s largest immunization clinics will press the pause button this week and temporarily stop giving vaccines after giving injections for more than a week, citing limited supplies . But state officials expect vaccine deliveries to increase in the coming weeks.
Health sciences officials at the University of New Mexico have said they want to make sure they have enough vaccines to give booster shots to people who have already received their first vaccine. The university’s arena clinic, also known as The Pit, is expected to be closed Tuesday through Saturday.
“This is just a hiatus, so I really want to stress that The Pit will be a vaccination clinic in the future,” spokeswoman Alex Sanchez said last Friday.
The clinic was administering approximately 1,600 doses per day, with the goal of eventually receiving 3,000 doses per day. Sandoval said the intention is still to hit this target as soon as more doses of the vaccine become available.
State officials said Monday they were not aware of any other vendors planning to stop vaccination operations this week.
New Mexico receives approximately 56,000 doses per week. This is expected to continue over the next three weeks, representing a 16% increase in allowances, said Matt Bieber, a spokesperson for the New Mexico Department of Health.
These doses are distributed to an ever-expanding network of suppliers statewide, he said.
“Through New Mexico’s successful early distribution efforts – we are delivering vaccine to guns faster than 47 states – we have learned that our state can handle a much larger allocation from the federal government, and we advocate that,” A he declared in an e-mail.
Data from the state Department of Health shows that 98% of the 278,800 doses that have been shipped to New Mexico so far have already been administered.
State health officials, members of the New Mexico congressional delegation and others have highlighted the success of the program as a reason why the Biden administration should increase the allowance.
Still, Sanchez reiterated the importance of being able to give booster shots within the allotted time. State data shows that nearly 61,000 people received their second injection while the number of those receiving their first injection continues to increase.
About a quarter of New Mexico’s population has registered with the state to receive vaccinations.
Under the plan, healthcare workers, first responders, residents and staff in nursing homes and long-term care facilities were among the first to be vaccinated. The current phase includes people 75 years of age and older and younger people with pre-existing health conditions that put them at greater risk.
Grocery store workers and other essential workers who cannot work remotely are next on the list, with the state planning to begin vaccinations for the general public around mid-year.
Confirmed cases of COVID-19 in New Mexico since the pandemic began last year have surpassed 174,000.
The state’s seven-day moving average of daily new cases has declined in recent weeks, while the moving average of daily deaths has been nearly flat.
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