Vaccination and testing are key to protecting New Mexico, particularly during Delta surge

SANTA FE – The New Mexico Department of Health announced on Thursday that more than 50% of 12-17 year-olds in the state have received at least a first dose of COVID-19 vaccine, and nearly 40% have completed their vaccination series.

The announcement comes amid a wave of new infections connected to the Delta variant, which is 2-4 times more contagious than previous strains. In the last two weeks, cases across the country are up 131%, and deaths are up 65%.

“There is no question: vaccination is the best tool we have to protect ourselves and our loved ones from COVID-19,” said DOH Deputy Secretary Dr. Laura Parajon. “We’re so pleased at the increasing vaccine rate among young people, and we encourage parents to schedule appointments at their primary care provider, ask questions, and schedule vaccinations for their children.”

Getting vaccinated is key to protecting the vulnerable, including people who are immunocompromised and children 11 years and younger who are not yet eligible for vaccine.

The state has also recently launched a second round of the $100 COVID-19 vaccine incentive program: Stay Ahead New Mexico. For the remainder of August, all New Mexicans 12+ are eligible for a $100 incentive for getting a dose of the COVID-19 vaccine. To be eligible, New Mexicans will have to receive a vaccine between August 2 and the end of the month, and will have to opt in with an email, phone number, or home address at

New Mexicans are encouraged to schedule vaccine appointments at – and to maintain COVID-safe practices such as mask-wearing, hand-washing, and physical distancing. More information is available at




Hannah Long PhD, Communications Specialist |



The Department of Health works to promote health and wellness, improve health outcomes, and deliver services to all New Mexicans. As New Mexico’s largest state agency, DOH offers public health services in all 33 counties and collaborates with 23 Native American tribes, Pueblos and nations.
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