New Mexico pushing child vaccinations as Delta variant begins to spread in the state

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ALBUQUERQUE, N.M.- Education officials in New Mexico are planning for the upcoming school year.

It’s still unclear whether masks will be required for everyone. However, state officials say they will likely implement policies that are consistent with the Centers for Disease Control (CDC).

The CDC recommends mask use for unvaccinated individuals. People who are vaccinated do not have to wear a mask, the agency states.

However, only people who are 12 and older can receive a COVID-19 vaccine.

The state reports that 21.4% of 12-15 year olds are fully vaccinated.

Anyone who starts their Pfizer vaccine series this week will be fully vaccinated by August, in time for the start of the school year.

Education leaders, like Dr. Veronica Garcia, outgoing superintendent of Santa Fe Public Schools, hopes families continue to take advantage of the opportunity to get vaccinated.

"I think it will just help provide a normal school year for their children," she said.

Regardless of the guidance from the CDC and the state, Garcia said the district is prepared for whatever rules will need to be implemented.

The push to get young New Mexicans vaccinated is as strong as ever.

"We want to get this done during the summer so that when they’re back in the seats, and they’re more closely grouped together, they’re protected," said New Mexico Department of Health Dr. Dan Burke.

One of the biggest reasons health officials want more people, including children, to get vaccinated is the Delta variant.

So far, 17 Delta variant cases have been reported in New Mexico.

  • Nine cases in Guadalupe County
  • Five cases in Cibola County
  • Two cases in Los Alamos County
  • One case in San Miguel County

The state reports one person with the Delta variant was hospitalized, and one person died.

Vaccination Event

La Familia Medical Center is hosting an event this Saturday, June 26, for youth ages 12-17 from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. at the Nancy Rodriguez Community Center located at 1 Prairie Dog Loop. Parental consent is required for minors; parents are advised to register eligible 12-17-year-old children at using the event code AGHETP. For help in registering, contact La Familia’s COVID-19 scheduling line at (505) 982-6934.