As numbers of Covid-19 cases continue to rise, many municipalities have begun securing vaccines for community members.
In Moriarty, Mayor Ted Hart said just today that 12 new people were vaccinated—10 first responders and police, and two residents above 75 years of age. “Last week we had 10 and the week before we had five,” he said. That [completes our first responders.] Everybody that wanted one has got one.”
In total, 27 vaccines were administered in Moriarty.
In Edgewood, Deputy Clerk Carla Salazar said the town hasn’t heard from the state as far as securing vaccines. “But our first responders have heard from the county,” she said. “I know that they were being offered vaccines, I think today and tomorrow, and Santa Fe County reached out to our police chief. They identified all the first responders in the town, and they offered those people vaccines.”
In Mountainair, Mayor Peter Nieto said 15 vaccines have been given in total since before Christmas, 12 to firefighters and paramedics, and three to police officers.
In Tijeras, Deputy Clerk Nick Kennedy said, “The Village has encouraged its staff to register to be vaccinated with the state Department of Health, but we have not secured any vaccinations for members of the community.”
While vaccines are starting to make their way to these communities, both mayors Hart and Nieto said they feel discouraged by the way the distribution is being handled.
“I think that right now, in the county we actually have the vaccine sitting in refrigerators,” Nieto said. “That’s upsetting to me. The way that I look at it is, we’ve had three deaths this week alone due to Covid and they’re elderly. The standpoint, I guess, from the county is their hands are tied, we’re not in the phase to do elderly people. That’s frustrating to me knowing that we have residents who are elderly, and we have the vaccine that would have protected them sitting in a refrigerator. That doesn’t sit well with me.”
Hart said that the lack of a plan is what is hindering the rollout.
“We’re trying to get this vaccine out to people that want it as fast as we can get it out,” he said. “The thing is … my personal belief is that there is no plan. The state has no plan. Everything is changing daily. It’s not a set plan, it’s a daily change every time. It’s hard for us to manage and negotiate to get the stuff going when the plans changing, and nobody really knows what the plan is.”
Nieto said his frustration is “strictly out of concern.”
“I’m not mad at anybody, I’m just concerned,” he said. “This is a situation where we need all hands on deck, and to get this popped out, and it’s not looking good right now. I’m hoping for a better outcome, but as of right now, I’m not impressed.”
According to the New Mexico Department of Health communications person Matt Bieber, 106,525 vaccines have been delivered to New Mexico so far, and about 62,000 to 68,500 vaccines have been administered.
Bieber said the state is still in phase 1a. According to the vaccine registration website, “the goal in Phase 1a is to vaccinate as many workers as possible who provide healthcare and other direct in-person services to patients, persons with disabilities, and persons living in congregate care settings who are at risk of exposure to the virus or who handle infectious materials.”
Nearly 300,00 New Mexicans have registered for the vaccine in the past two weeks. To register for a vaccination when available, visit cvvaccine.nmhealth.org/.
Inquiries to the town of Estancia and Edgewood Police Department were not responded to by the time this story went to print.