The local senior centers have received some additional information about the COVID-19 vaccine from the Aging and Long-Term Services Department.
“We beg people to please realize that this is a moving target,” said Bernadette Lauritzen, LARSO Executive Director. “Please be kind to my employees, because they are operating on little information and simply don’t have an answer to many questions yet.”
The centers believe that the time frame is early February and it appears that those eligible are in the group 1b category. The CDC defines that category as seniors 75 and above. It will not be for the staff or the vaccinating pharmacy to make allowances for a staff member or someone younger that has additional health issues. Those in the age category will be able to call and make an appointment once dates have been provided to LARSO.
Senior centers across the state were encouraged to additionally have local seniors sign up through the Department of Health portal. It can be found at https://cvvaccine.nmhealth.org , then click on the red bar that says click here to pre-register. Select your desired language prompt and then click the line that says. “I don’t have an event code; I want to register for the vaccine when it is available.” This will be a separate registration from the ones held at the local senior centers. Once the local vaccine hubs are provided with a date, you can determine which site you prefer. The two events are not interconnected for the same registration.
“People ask why we put out any information if we didn’t have much,” said Lauritzen. “The truth is, I felt we needed to have hope that our seniors have not been forgotten.”
Lauritzen stated with only two news sources in town, she is hoping that those over 60 will register as members of the senior center, so once information is acquired for each age category, it can be emailed to members in an instant.
“We’re not saying you have to join to get a vaccine, but we don’t have the staff to return hundreds of calls,” she said
The centers were asked about having detailed information on various COVID-19 topics on their own website. Those that have the time and patience will just have to navigate the Department of Health and CDC websites. The center has been informed that they will receive the Moderna vaccine. That alone is a five-page document in addition to the one-page release form.
“There are many changes that could take place, so it bodes us well to not muddy the waters. You should leave a message at (505) 662-8920, with your name, address, phone number and birthdate. A current email address is what will be used to get out the information once dates are scheduled for both centers. Please know if you don’t leave a message, it just puts you further down the list. Please be patient, as staff is working quickly to reply to all requests.,” Lauritzen said.