State to expand vaccine availability to everyone over 16

Scott Wyland, The Santa Fe New Mexican
·1 min read

Mar. 31—All New Mexicans older than 16 will be eligible to receive coronavirus vaccines beginning Monday, state health officials announced Wednesday in the latest effort to step up inoculations and avoid a dreaded fourth COVID-19 surge.

Vaccinations will still follow the prescribed phases, with priority given to essential workers as well as people who are at least 75 years old or are 60 and older with serious medical conditions.

The expanded availability will allow medical providers who can't fill vaccine appointments with the prioritized groups to give shots to the broader population in an effort to speed up inoculations.

"President Biden directed states to make all adults eligible for vaccine by May 1," state Health Secretary Dr. Tracie Collins said in a statement. "New Mexico will meet that mark nearly a month early."

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention has indicated states should expect greater vaccine supply in the coming weeks, including significant increases in the one-shot Johnson & Johnson vaccine, state health officials said in a news release.