SANTA FE — Yesterday the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention signed off an additional booster for adults over 65 and people with weakened immune systems. Earlier this week the Food and Drug Administration authorized the additional dose for those 65 and older to receive the vaccine at least four months after their previous updated shot. Those with immune deficiencies would also be eligible, and the vaccines are available free of charge.
“We urge New Mexicans to stay current with their COVID-19 vaccinations and especially encourage those who are over 65 years and those with weakened immune systems to get the additional booster shot available for them,” said Secretary Patrick Allen. “We are all ready to move on from the pandemic and the best way to do that is to get vaccinated to help protect both the vaccinated person and those around them by limiting the spread of the virus.”
In New Mexico, approximately 20% of those eligible for the Omicron booster have received the updated shot.
“The importance of the booster is that over time your protection from COVID-19 vaccines decrease,” said Deputy Secretary Dr. Laura Parajon. “We’d really like to see our Omicron booster vaccination rates for everyone eligible statewide rise in New Mexico to keep our residents healthy and to reduce their risk from hospitalizations and death from COVID-19.”
If you are at least 65 and received your first bivalent booster at least four months ago, you are eligible to get a second one. If you are immunocompromised and received a bivalent booster at least two months ago, you are also eligible to get a second one. People with weak immune systems can receive additional doses at intervals decided by their doctors. These include people who have received organ or stem cell transplants, people with advanced or untreated HIV infection, people undergoing treatment for cancer and people who are taking certain medications that weaken the immune system.
Eligibility for extra doses for immunocompromised children 6 months through 4 years old will depend on which vaccine they have already received.
Individuals can sign up for their vaccine appointment by calling 1-855-600-3453 (option 3, option 9 for Spanish), online at vaccineNM.org, vaccineNM.org/kids, vaccine.gov, or through their personal medical provider or pharmacist.
Additionally, New Mexico residents can still receive mail order free at-home COVID tests through the Department of Health’s partnership with the Rockefeller Foundation’s Project Act program while supplies last at: https://accesscovidtests.org/.
At-home tests are also available through for no cost until May 11, 2023, or while supplies last at https://www.covid.gov/tests.
For more information on how to stay safe and healthy from COVID-19, visit cv.nmhealth.org.