Council Chair Randall Ryti: Vaccine Distribution In Los Alamos County

Los Alamos County Council Chair

Since Jan. 30 when the New Mexico Department of Health (NMDOH) started providing county-level vaccination data, I have been disappointed in the low per capita vaccination rate reported for the County ranking us at 31 of 33 counties in the per capita vaccination rate.

Council has since received numerous comments on this dashboard.

I have been trying to find out if our reported doses are correctly reflected. Council received an update at the Feb. 2 Council meeting from our Emergency Manager Beverley Simpson. This update suggested that numbers on the dashboard might not be accurate.

The most current information we have is that almost 1,800 first or second doses have been given in Los Alamos County,  about 700 more doses than is reflected on the dashboard. We learned that since the County’s allotment includes doses provided for people who work in the County but live in neighboring areas, this might explain some of this discrepancy.

What we have been told by NMDOH is that the underlying issue is a lack of supply. This coming week, Feb. 8 and 10, NMDOH will be in Los Alamos to provide 800 boosters of the Pfizer vaccine.

Nambe Drug provided 600 doses of the Moderna vaccine for 75+ year old Los Alamos residents Jan. 30 and 31. Nambe Drug also has been providing 100 doses per week (50 on Monday and 50 on Friday). We are expecting more doses the week of Feb. 14 to be administered by Nambe Drug and NMDOH. Supply dependent, perhaps another 1,000 doses at larger vaccination events.

Los Alamos County has demonstrated the capacity to conduct vaccination clinics of 200 to 800 people. I have been told we could handle a clinic for 1,000 people in a day if we get the supply. Our vaccination capacity includes more than two dozen volunteers, including people in the medical reserve corps.

I will continue to advocate for Los Alamos County to get its fair share of doses and make sure that we provide the community with updates on the local rollout vaccine.