New Mexico Educators Now In Line For COVID-19 Vaccine


Phase 1B of vaccination plan includes K-12 educators as essential workers

New Mexico educators are now in line for the COVID-19 vaccine, a critical step in returning to greater in-person learning amid the global pandemic, the New Mexico Department of Health announced Friday.

Phase 1B of New Mexico’s vaccine distribution plan is now under way and will include classroom teachers, school-based cafeteria and janitorial workers and administrative and support staff, the Department of Health said.

“This is welcome news and a critical step in getting back to the educational gold standard, which is in-person learning,” Public Education Secretary Ryan Stewart said. “Prioritizing educators early in the vaccine distribution process shows New Mexico’s continuing commitment to the health and safety of these vital frontline workers in whose hands we entrust the future of our children.”

The Department of Health sets the criteria for the phases of vaccine distribution, which began in late December. In Phase 1A, vaccines were available to frontline health-care workers and others providing direct in-person services to patients, persons with disabilities and persons living in congregate care settings.

Phase 1B, which began Friday, adds these groups, in sequence: New Mexicans 75 years and older; those 16 and older with underlying medical conditions that place them at greater risk from COVID-19, and  frontline essential workers who cannot work remotely. The latter group includes early education and K-12 educators.

To manage distribution as more vaccines become available, the health department has established a website where New Mexicans can register for the vaccine: Nearly a quarter million New Mexicans have already used the website to create a personal profile that includes medical and employment information and other data that will determine when they are eligible to get a vaccine. Those who register will be notified when they become eligible and shots are available in their area.

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