BY MAIRE O’NEILL
The number of initial dose vaccinations administered in Los Alamos County as of Tuesday stands at 1,716 with an additional 50 people vaccinated Monday, County Emergency Manager Beverley Simpson told County Council members Tuesday evening during their regular meeting.
Simpson said currently Los Alamos National Laboratory has provided 526 vaccinations with 35 of employees working onsite. Los Alamos Medical Center has given 480 vaccinations to date. Los Alamos Public Schools have received vaccines for 149 employees and some 450 are still required, Simpson reported.
“All the daycares are also waiting for their vaccinations. They have continued to provide care throughout the duration of this COVID pandemic so they are a key resource for our teachers going back to work, for our employees working etc.,” she said.
On the Department of Health website it shows that 7,618 people have registered however Simpson believes that number has increased.
“As individuals see the vaccinations being provided, more people register on the website. Last week in Category 1A we had 118 individuals that needed the vaccine and as of Sunday, 145. We are seeing an uptick of people registering on the DOH website,” she said. “For Category 1B-1, we had 317 individuals last week in the category of people 75 and above with severe health conditions and now we are up to 386 as of Sunday.”
Simpson said great headway was made last weekend with the assistance of the senior center and that Nambe provided 600 vaccinations. That number included a few employees in addition to seniors.
“Monday’s clinic performed 186 vaccinations. Fifty of those were new vaccinations and 136 were the second doses,” she said, adding that she had not received an update report from the military of from DOH.
Simpson noted that the clinic scheduled for Tuesday was canceled late last week because there weren’t enough vaccinations in the state to start a new clinic.
“Their focus has been on providing the boosters throughout the state and as we know the larger communities are sucking up the vaccinations for their boosters,” she said.
Simpson said in light of email traffic from the community, she wanted to remind everyone that DOH is the keeper of the vaccination and the doses.
“At this point they’re the ones that determine the allocations to each of the jurisdictions. I received a spreadsheet that was sent out by our Emergency Management Association for New Mexico and currently Los Alamos County is only predicted to receive .84 percent of the vaccines provided to the state of New Mexico. It’s based on population,” she said.
Simpson said she sent an email to DOH to request a re-look at the number of vaccinations Los Alamos County will receive because LANL and LAMC are included in our total numbers which is obviously something we want to happen being that LANL employees are from all over the state.
“With just 6,000 employees (from Los Alamos County) at LANL out of the 17,000+ total employees, that really is not a correct mathematical assumption that these are all employees from Los Alamos County that LANL is vaccinating so I requested a re-look at that and hopefully we’ll see a difference in the allocation of vaccinations for Los Alamos County if the state decides to include LAMC and LANL in that total number,” Simpson said.
She noted that there is an issue with the state’s vaccine dashboard.
“There have been several comments on that and I know Chair Ryti has also sent an email to the state. Santa Fe County has not received 24.1 percent of the doses. It appears from the first look from DOH’s standpoint, that the jurisdiction that’s receiving the doses of vaccine is being credited for them on their allocation on the dashboard which is not true because Santa Fe after they’ve received the vaccinations actually spread the wealth throughout Taos County, Los Alamos County and Rio Arriba County. So the state is looking at the dashboard and looking at correcting that as soon as possible. I wanted to point out that discrepancy because there have been several comments on that,” Simpson said.
She also reported that Nambe Drugs has expressed an interest in being s champion for Los Alamos County by ordering vaccines directly from the state so that the County can start having more regular vaccination clinics. She hopes to start vaccination clinics using Nambe Drigs beginning Feb. 14.
Simpson issued a reminder that Curative COVID-19 testing is being conducted every Tuesday and Thursday at Overlook Park.
“In order to keep the County in the yellow, we need to continue to test the residents. Currently only 20 individuals are registered for Thursday,” she said.
Simpson noted that she delivered the close contact personal protective equipment for the schools to LAPS Administration Tuesday in time for the start of in-person learning .
She also noted that LANL is not requiring employees to register for vaccinations, however, Council Vice Chair James Robinson, a LANL employee, said employees are being encouraged very strongly to do so.
Asked if it is her intent to use both DOH and Nambe Drug, Simpson said her plan is that for example if the County gets 500 vaccines, Nambe Drugs can do a clinic on the weekend for 350 people, then the County can do one or two clinics during the week to fulfill that capacity.
“If we are getting 1,000, maybe we could have three clinics and a weekend clinic. It makes the distribution more efficient but we don’t get any more doses. I sent information about a pharmaceutical distribution that is actually through the federal government to Nambe Drugs (Monday) and from my conversation with the vaccine marshals, that would be above and beyond. If there are any residual vaccinations available, they can request them in addition to what our allocation is,” Simpson said.
Council Chair Randall Ryti asked how many doses the state is getting per week and Simpson responded that the number changes every week and that last week the number was 60,000. (Gov. Michelle Lujan Grisham noted during an event Wednesday morning that the state could “put 50,000 doses into the arms of New Mexicans every day if we had them”.)
Under his Chair’s report, Ryti noted that he had met with LAMC CEO John Whiteside.
“Their case number at the hospital is down to one or two per day which is good because they had about eight at their peak. They do manage the cases regionally so they would send cases from Los Alamos to St. Vincent’s (Hospital) if there were overflow needs. They don’t really take cases from other areas or locations here and that’s so that they can maintain capacity for all the other things they need to continue doing like seeing somebody for an emergency or some surgeries. Most of their staff has been vaccinated at this point,” Ryti said.
To register for the Curative COVID-19 test between 10 a.m. and 2 p.m. Thursday, go to