New Mexico reports nation’s highest COVID-19 vaccine acceptance rate in long-term care facilities

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ALBUQUERQUE, N.M.- A majority of people who work and live in long-term care facilities have been vaccinated against COVID-19.

According to the state, nearly 60% of staff and nearly 80% of residents in the facilities have been vaccinated.

"We believe that residents are taking control of this virus that they have been held captive to for a very long period of time," said Katrina Hotrum-Lopez, secretary for the state Aging and Long Term Services Department. "And because of their efforts, we are able to really start opening visitation."

The vaccine has been effective in nursing homes. The state reports that deaths significantly dropped as more people received the vaccine.

"We have instructed our facilities to link with local pharmacies in order to continue vaccination efforts. And we have also submitted a proposal, we’re working with the Health Department on perhaps a pharmacy… that will go around the state, and continue vaccination for new residents coming in and for new staff who are unvaccinated coming in," Hotrum-Lopez said.

New Mexico has the highest acceptance rate in long-term care facilities in the country, according to Hotrum-Lopez.

"This was a huge and heavy lift, and we did it together," she said.