BY MAIRE O’NEILL
Statistics presented by Los Alamos County Emergency Manager Beverley Simpson Tuesday evening to Los Alamos County Council indicate that 1,590 residents have been vaccinated out of a total of 15,240 County residents registered on the Department of Health website.
For Phase 1A, which is healthcare workers, caregivers, etc., Simpson said out of 541 registered 105 remain, which means 81 percent of that group has been vaccinated, or 436 people.
For Phase 1B, which is people 75 and over with some co-morbidities, 1,245 people have registered and 239 are remaining, which equates to once again 81 percent vaccinated and 19 percent remaining.
Phase 1B -2 for ages 16 to 74, Simpson said there are 4,283 people registered and 4,243 remaining. That equates to 1 percent vaccinated or 48 people.
Phase 1B – 3 for essential workers in a congregate setting, 1,770 have registered and none have been vaccinated.
Simpson said for Phase 1C, some 1,546 people have registered and for Phase 1, 1,595 people have registered.
It looks like in addition to Nambe Drugs, Trinity Urgent Care, Medical Associates of Northern New Mexico and Los Alamos Children’s Dentistry have stepped up to be providers for the vaccine. Simpson said MANNM and Children’s Dentistry are awaiting approval of their refrigerators by DOH and Trinity’s application has been submitted.
“Smith’s Pharmacy is coming on board. They submitted their last requirements to DOH Monday and they are also part of the Federal Pharmaceutical Program. Nambe Drugs is fully on board with DOH and was just accepted to the FPP which means that both Smith’s and Nambe get their vaccines from the federal government as opposed to the state,” Simpson said.
She noted that the FPP is set up directly with pharmacies to allocate to stores directly.
“The DOH has recommended allocations to individual stores based on the county’s population vaccinated. The state has provided that direction to each of the pharmacies that are participating in this program. All reporting is done through the New Mexico Statewide Immunization Information System and that data is reflected on the dashboard. When it’s entered into NMSIIS it flows through and we will see those numbers reflected,” Simpson said.
The NMSIIS system is not a new tracking system, she noted. It has been used primarily for childhood immunizations but has been expanded for COVID.
Simpson also mentioned that residents can sign up with Walgreen’s Pharmacies through their website to receive the vaccine at their Espanola or Santa Fe locations when available.
“Walmart, Christus St. Vincent and Presbyterian utilize the DOH website so if you sign up there it will just refer you back to sign-up to the DOH and when vaccinations are available, they’ll give you a call,” she said.
Currently, a vaccination event for 300 doses is scheduled for Monday, Feb. 22 at Duane Smith Auditorium. Simpson said the location for that event may change depending on if there’s any increase in doses from Nambe Drugs.
On Saturday and Sunday, Feb.27-28, booster shot events for seniors will be held at the senior centers in both Los Alamos and White Rock.
On Mar. 14, Nambe Drugs has already set up the revaccinations of the 420 individuals who were vaccinated at the February 14 event.
Simpson said the state is applying to FEMA for four mobile vaccination strike teams for counties that are currently underserved.
“It’s a competitive application process and the state is waiting on our spots. The southeast and southwest jurisdictions are currently underserved so in the last two weeks DOH has been shifting doses to those jurisdictions to catch them up with the northern parts of the state,” she said.
The state is awaiting the rollout of information on the Astra Seneca vaccine which was approved Monday, Simpson said, and the state anticipates Johnson & Johnson will be rolling out the first week of March.
Tuesday’s Curative testing was canceled due to the weather and those 22 individuals were automatically rescheduled for Thursday, she said.
“The state and governor continue to ask individuals to get tested to move all the jurisdictions to green. There has been a lot in the news about the Curative testing but they still are asking people to go get tested. They have approved Curative for the state of New Mexico. There have been a lot of comments on Facebook – that Curative is supposed to be for symptomatic patients only,” Simpson said.
Asked about the benefit of having additional providers signing up in the County, Simpson said the benefit is that allocations of vaccine can be sent to the providers.
“Instead of myself and volunteers holding the vaccine events on a large scale, people will be able to go directly to the clinics,” she said, adding that it is going to take a couple of weeks for the urgent care facilities to get on board with the DOH approval process.
“In the future we’re looking at probably Nambe Drugs and Smith’s using the federal pharmaceutical allocation so that they can order directly from the federal government and then the other entities will be able to pull from the state stockpile. We don’t receive increased allocations because of additional providers. Our .84 percent allocation is what we get and that’s distributed throughout all those different entities that are on board,” Simpson said. “The state is only looking a bringing on board a certain number per jurisdiction for that very reason so that it’s not all smaller events with 50 doses a week. It doesn’t make sense to go through all that work to do that.”