Los Alamos County Emergency Manager Beverley Simpson announced this morning that Los Alamos County has officially surpassed the 60 percent COVID-19 vaccine mark Thursday with 61.1 percent of residents receiving both vaccinations.
“This is great news for our community,” Simpson said, “It’s a positive sign that we are continuing to head in the right direction and move into a post-pandemic stage of COVID-19 that will allow our businesses and our community to return to more of a day-to-day routine with fewer restrictions very soon.”
Simpson’s remarks reflected an announcement made at the end of April by the Governor that, as soon as 60 percent of eligible New Mexicans were fully vaccinated, New Mexico would be able to exit the color-coded county risk system and remove most pandemic-related restrictions on commercial activities. The State Department of Health had predicted with that announcement on April 28 that the 60 percent vaccine goal could be achieved by the end of June.
Simpson said that while this is great news, it did not come as a complete surprise when she received the latest COVID-19 reports from the State DOH Thursday.
“We have been tracking our vaccine numbers since we began this process last December, so we could see that we were exceeding expectations for the number of vaccines being administered here in our community for several weeks,” she said, “We knew that it was likely that we were going to hit that over 60% goal long before June 30.”
Simpson said that the success of the County in reaching the milestone over six weeks ahead of the State’s modeling would not have been possible without the help and support of workers in the County’s Fire Department and the Social Services Division, along with participation and joint efforts with companies such as Nambe Drugs and community volunteers. Early on, vaccine clinics were completely full with waiting lists for those anxious to receive the vaccine, she said.
“We are just now beginning to finally see a decline in the number of vaccines being administered in our mass vaccination clinics this week, and that is directly related to how quickly and efficiently we were able to obtain and administer thousands of doses earlier this year, thanks to the help we’ve received along the way from so many wonderful, local resources willing to step up and offer their time and medical expertise,” Simpson said, adding that the help of community volunteers also increased capacity and the County’s ability to successfully host numerous clinics since last December when Pfizer and Moderna vaccines first became available.
“I am grateful to everyone who has supported the Emergency Management Office,” she said, “It’s good to know that in a time of crisis, Los Alamos community members come forward and ask how they can help. That is a valuable attribute not always found in other communities when there is a widespread and long-lasting emergency like this, and our residents should be commended.”
Simpson said that 80.6 percent of residents have received at least one vaccine to date, and that the County continues to be a leader in the State in achieving a high vaccination rate. In fact, Simpson shared with the County Council on Tuesday evening that it is likely mass vaccine clinics will come to an end in Los Alamos by early June, because the demand for the vaccine simply isn’t there like it was a few months ago.
“We are definitely on the right path here in Los Alamos,” Simpson said, “I hope the rest of the communities across the State will continue to work on reaching that same 60 percent goal so that New Mexico can more fully re-open for business in time for a true Independence Day celebration with family and friends.”
Simpson encouraged anyone who has not yet received the vaccine to register with the State DOH to do so. Setting up an online profile and selecting a convenient appointment time/day to be vaccinated is easy using the State’s website: https://cvvaccine.nmhealth.org.
Individuals who have traveled out of state for a vaccination are asked to update their profile to reflect their COVID vaccination status.