COVID-19 Vaccine

General Vaccine Information

The New Mexico Department of Health (NMDOH) is leading the State of New Mexico’s COVID-19 vaccination planning and implementation in close collaboration with other state agencies, as well as public, private and tribal partners throughout the state.

Graphic adapted with permission from MA DOH (Mass.gov)

Current Phase

1B

All individuals 75 years of age and older, individuals 16 or older with underlying medical conditions that place them at greater risk from COVID-19, frontline essential workers who cannot work remotely, and vulnerable populations.

Do you want to register for your COVID-19 Vaccine?

Please use this tool to register with the New Mexico Department of Health (NMDOH). When vaccine is available, NMDOH will send you a notification to schedule your appointment.

Users who have questions or would like support with the registration process – including New Mexicans who do not have internet access – can dial 1-855-600-3453, press option 0 for vaccine questions, and then option 4 for tech support.

COVID-19 Vaccine Hotline: 1-855-600-3453

Users who have questions or would like support with the registration process – including New Mexicans who do not have internet access – can dial 1-855-600-3453, press option 0 for vaccine questions, and then option 4 for tech support.

Frequently Asked Questions

Please read the Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ) and review the Other Resources to become informed, so you can help protect yourself, your family, your friends and your community.

 

Continue to Practice COVID-19 Safe Behavior

Please remember to follow all the safety precautions to protect yourself, your family, your friends and your community. 

Cover your mouth and nose with a mask or face covering when around others.  Avoid close contact with people who are sick.  Stay 6 feet away from others and avoid crowds.  Wash your hands often. Use hand sanitizer if soap and water are not available.

When will the vaccine be available and what should I do until then?

What can I do now to protect myself from getting COVID-19 until a vaccine is more widely available?

Cover your mouth and nose with a mask or face covering when around others.  Avoid close contact with people who are sick.  Stay 6 feet away from others and avoid crowds.  Wash your hands often.  Use hand sanitizer if soap and water are not available.

You will still need to take precautions and wear a mask after you receive the vaccine.

When will a COVID-19 vaccine be available in New Mexico?

New Mexico has received its first doses of vaccine. These doses are very limited.  The state expects to receive additional shipments over the coming weeks and months.

What will it cost to get a COVID-19 vaccine? Is it free? What if I don’t have health insurance?

The vaccine is free to all people.

Vaccination providers will be able to charge an administration fee that is reimbursed by the patient’s public or private insurance company or, for uninsured patients, by the federal Health Resources and Services Administration’s (HRSA) Provider Relief Fund.

The federal government is requiring vaccine providers to administer vaccine to people regardless of their insurance status or immigration status.  And they must administer without charging them for the vaccine.

Will there be enough COVID-19 vaccine for everyone?

FDA has granted Emergency Use Authorization (EUA) for the first two vaccines. However, there is limited supply.

Vaccine will be prioritized for frontline health care workers in hospital settings. The state will then provide vaccine to other frontline healthcare workers and first responders, as well as staff and residents of nursing homes and other long-term care facilities.  This is in line with federal recommendations.

This means that not everyone will be able to be vaccinated right away, and vaccine may not be available to the general public until mid-2021. 

The goal is for everyone to be able to easily get a COVID-19 vaccine when large quantities are available. We expect that several thousand vaccination providers and numerous locations throughout the state will eventually be available, including doctors’ offices, retail pharmacies, hospitals, community locations, and federally qualified health centers.

Will I be able to get the vaccine if I’m not in a priority group?

Yes. Those who are not in the initial priority groups will be able to get COVID-19 vaccine as soon as large quantities are available.

Has New Mexico been selected by Pfizer to be part of a vaccine pilot?

Yes. The state agreed to participate in Pfizer’s U.S. COVID-19 Immunization Pilot Program along with three other states.  This will help refine plans for the delivery and distribution and administering of the company’s COVID-19 vaccine candidate, once the FDA authorizes its use as a safe and effective vaccine. The lessons learned from this pilot program should help New Mexico, other states, tribal partners, and the federal government in administering the vaccine more effectively and efficiently to diverse populations and communities.

Does participation in the Pfizer pilot mean that New Mexico will be getting more vaccine, and sooner than other states?

No. There is no vaccine involved in the pilot.  The purpose of the pilot program is for state leaders, health care providers, and others to work together to review, test and refine plans for effective vaccine distribution and administration.

Should I get the vaccine?

Will I need the COVID-19 vaccine even if I’m not in a high-risk group?

Yes.  While many people with COVID-19 have only a mild illness, others may get a severe case or they may even die.  There is no way to know in advance how COVID-19 will affect you, even if you are not at increased risk of severe complications. 

Also, if you get infected, you may spread the disease to friends, family and others around you.  COVID-19 vaccination helps protect you by creating an antibody response without having to experience sickness. The sooner most people are vaccinated and protected against COVID-19 disease, the sooner New Mexicans and all Americans can get back to normal life.

Does the Governor or the New Mexico Department of Health intend or have plans to make the COVID-19 vaccine mandatory?
No.

Will the vaccine be safe?

How will I know that the COVID-19 vaccine is safe?

Clinical trials involving many thousands of participants are used to investigate possible COVID-19 vaccines.  These studies generate scientific data and other information that the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) uses to determine vaccine safety and effectiveness.

After the FDA makes its determination, an independent group of scientific experts – the Advisory Committee on Immunization Practices (ACIP) – reviews available data before making vaccine recommendations to the CDC.

Both of these processes have been completed for two different vaccines:

  • Pfizer-BioNTech COVID-19 Vaccine
  • Moderna, Inc. Vaccine

That means that the scientific data from the research on each of these vaccines has been reviewed by two independent teams of experts.

Even after this approval, vaccine safety monitoring systems watch for adverse events (possible side effects).  If an unexpected adverse event is observed, experts quickly study it further to assess whether it was caused by the vaccine and whether it is a true safety concern. 

You can read more about the many strategies for ensuring the safety of COVID-19 vaccines in the United States at the CDC’s website: https://www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-ncov/vaccines/safety.html

For every vaccine approved for use by the FDA and ACIP, the site provides information on safety, effectiveness, recommended populations to receive the vaccine, and side effects, if any.

How do I know which sources of COVID-19 vaccine information are accurate?

The CDC offers this guide to check sources, including websites, that contain information about COVID-19 vaccines.
https://www.cdc.gov/vaccines/vac-gen/evalwebs.htm

Is it safe to go to a facility to get a COVID-19 or any other vaccine?

Yes. Providers who will be giving vaccines are practicing measures to diminish the spread of COVID-19 in their facilities.

Will the COVID-19 vaccine make me test positive?

No.  Vaccines currently in clinical trials in the United States won’t cause you to test positive on viral tests, which are used to see if you have current infection.

If your body develops an immune response, which is the goal of vaccination, there is a possibility you may test positive on some antibody tests.  These tests indicate you had a previous infection and that you may have some level of protection against the virus.

How do I know which sources of COVID-19 vaccine information are accurate?

The CDC offers this guide to check sources, including websites, that contain information about COVID-19 vaccines.
https://www.cdc.gov/vaccines/vac-gen/evalwebs.htm

How does vaccine distribution work?

How many COVID-19 vaccines are under development?

Two vaccines have completed development and been granted Emergency Use Authorization (EUA).  These are the Pfizer-BioNTech COVID-19 Vaccine and the Moderna, Inc. Vaccine.

Multiple additional COVID-19 vaccines are under development.  Many of these vaccines are in large-scale (Phase 3) clinical trials in the United States. During Phase 3 trials, scientists give the vaccine to thousands of people to see how many become infected, compared with volunteers who receive a placebo.  These trials can determine if the vaccine is safe and protects against COVID-19.

Phase 3 trials are designed to reveal evidence of relatively rare side effects that might have been missed in earlier studies. In addition, COVID-19 vaccine manufacturers include members of different gender, age, race and ethnicity groups in Phase 3 trials to ensure vaccine effectiveness and safety across diverse populations.

How many shots of COVID-19 vaccine will be needed?

Two vaccines have been granted an Emergency Use Authorization (EUA).  The first is the Pfizer-BioNTech COVID-19 Vaccine.  It requires TWO shots: a first shot, followed by a second shot 21 days later.

The second vaccine is from Moderna, Inc.  It requires TWO shots: an initial shot, followed by a second shot 28 days later.

Regardless of which vaccine you receive, the second dose needs to be from the same manufacturer.

All but one of the other COVID-19 vaccines currently in Phase 3 clinical trials in the United States require TWO shots – over a period of time — to be effective.

Johnson & Johnson is working on a vaccine that that only requires a single shot.

Do I have to get the second shot? How will I remember?

For vaccines in development that require a two-dose series, the second shot is needed to give maximum immunity.

The New Mexico Department of Health uses the New Mexico Statewide Immunization Information System (NMSIIS) to collect information on vaccine doses given within the state. NMSIIS has a feature that will send a reminder message on when to get a second dose. Your vaccination provider may also send you a reminder notice and give you a card reminding you when you will be due for your second shot.

Do I need to wear a mask when I receive a COVID-19 vaccine?

Yes. CDC recommends that during the pandemic people wear a mask that covers their nose and mouth when in contact with others outside your household, when in healthcare facilities, and when receiving any vaccine, including a COVID-19 vaccine. Wearing a mask helps protect health care workers who are giving the shot as well as other patients.

When can I stop wearing a mask after I have been vaccinated?

There is not enough information currently available to say that it’s safe to stop wearing a mask after getting the vaccine.  A mask protects you, and it also protects your family, friends and community.  You should continue to  wear a mask, practice social distancing, and wash your hands regularly  when around people outside your household.

How long will the protection from the COVID-19 vaccine last?

We won’t know how long immunity lasts until we have a vaccine and more data on how well it works.

Additional Resources

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