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Local vaccination rates are slowing down

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The number of adults in Chaves County getting a COVID-19 vaccine has slowed down after seeing large increases through August and September.

The county’s adult population is just barely under 50% fully vaccinated at 23,700 people, according to data on the New Mexico Department of Health vaccine dashboard updated Monday. That’s a 0.6% increase — 149 people — from last week. The week of Oct. 12 saw a 0.7% increase, or 171 people. Through the preceding two months, that number increased each week by at least 1%, with the highest increase at 2.4% — 484 people — at the beginning of August. After a 2.2% increase the week of Sept. 20, the number of people completing a vaccine series has been on a decline.

Of those who have at least one dose of vaccine, in Chaves County that number is 26,613 adults or 56.1%. That was an increase of 0.6% — 148 people — over the previous week. The week of Oct. 12, that number increased by only 0.5% or 124 people. That group also saw larger gains in August and September, with the highest weekly increase at 2.8% — 661 people — the week of Aug. 23, and has declined each week since then.

Statewide, 71.9% of adults have completed a vaccine series and 81.4% have at least one dose.

Among 12 to 17 year olds, 53.7% have completed the vaccine series and 62.2% have at least one dose.

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State health officials reported Monday in a press conference that 5.3% of adults in New Mexico have received a booster dose of the Pfizer vaccine.

Booster doses for the Moderna and Johnson & Johnson vaccines could gain emergency authorization from the U.S. Food and Drug Administration by the end of the week, making the boosters available next week, NMDOH Deputy Secretary Laura Parajon said.

Review and possible approval of vaccines for children age 5 to 11 is expected in early November, she said. She encouraged parents to go ahead and register their children in that age group for the vaccine at www.vaccinenm.org.

Vaccines for children younger than 5 are expected to be reviewed late this year or in early 2022, she said.

Tuesday’s daily case update from the Department of Health showed much lower numbers of new cases than have been seen in recent weeks. Thirty counties reported 517 cases, the lowest single-day increase since mid-September.

Chaves County reported only 12 new cases, the lowest since the end of September.

Among the southeast New Mexico counties, Curry County reported three new cases, De Baca had four, Eddy County had 14, Lea County had 11, Lincoln County had five, Quay County had two and Roosevelt County had four.

Elsewhere in the state, Bernalillo County had 171 cases, Doña Ana County had 33, McKinley County had 35 and San Juan County had 68.

The total number of cases in New Mexico since March 2020 is 266,148, including 12,491 in Chaves County.

Two local deaths were among the 10 reported in the state Tuesday, a woman in her 40s and a man in his 60s. Both had been hospitalized and had underlying health conditions.

Also among the deceased were two people from Bernalillo County, two from Lea County, and one each from Doña Ana, Eddy, Lincoln and Torrance counties.

Among the other deaths, their ages ranged from a man in his 20s from Bernalillo County to a woman and a man in their 70s from Bernalillo and Doña Ana counties.

Five had been hospitalized and seven had underlying health conditions.

The total number of deaths in the state is 4,952, including 198 in Chaves County.

As of Tuesday, 350 people were hospitalized for COVID-19 in New Mexico.

City/RISD reporter Juno Ogle can be reached at 575-622-7710, ext. 205, or reporter04@rdrnews.com.

To keep up with local coverage of the coronavirus, go to rdrnews.com/category/news/covid-19-situation/.

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