Mon. Jul 22nd, 2024


The New Mexico Department of Health announced on Monday that all K-12 educators, early childhood (EC) professionals, and staff will be eligible to receive COVID-19 vaccine beginning today, March 8.

In keeping with a White House directive, the state will offer first shots to these groups over an approximately three-week period, as follows:

Week 1 (beginning March 8): Educators and EC professionals outside the Albuquerque metro area

Week 2 (beginning March 15): Educators and EC professionals within the Albuquerque metro area, likely at a mass vaccination site

Week 3 (beginning March 22): Educators and EC professionals who register for vaccine in the interim or who have not yet been vaccinated

“The state has already vaccinated approximately 15,000 educators, and we are eager to continue our nation-leading distribution effort,” said DOH Secretary Dr. Tracie Collins. “The state will also continue to vaccinate phase 1A, 75+, and New Mexicans with health conditions.”

Additionally, new guidelines from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention say people fully vaccinated against COVID-19 can safely visit with other vaccinated people and small groups of unvaccinated people in some circumstances, but there are still important safety precautions needed.

The CDC defines people who are fully vaccinated as those who are two weeks past their second dose of the Moderna and Pfizer COVID-19 vaccine or two weeks past a single dose of the Johnson & Johnson vaccine.

People who are vaccinated are protected and there is growing evidence that they don’t spread COVID-19, but scientists are still trying to understand how long vaccine protection lasts.

The CDC says fully vaccinated people can:

  • Visit other vaccinated people indoors without masks or physical distancing
  • Visit indoors with unvaccinated people from a single household without masks or physical distancing, if the unvaccinated people are at low risk for severe disease.
  • Skip quarantine and testing if exposed to someone who has COVID-19 but are asymptomatic, but should monitor for symptoms for 14 days.

However, people who are fully vaccinated still need to take precautions in many scenarios. The guidelines say fully vaccinated people must:

  • Wear a mask and keep good physical distance around the unvaccinated who are at increased risk for severe COVID-19, or if the unvaccinated person has a household member who is at higher risk.

Wear masks and physically distance when visiting unvaccinated people who are from multiple households.

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