New Mexico to require boosters for many workers

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ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. — An amended emergency public health order issued Thursday by the state of New Mexico will require workers in high-risk settings to receive a booster shot when eligible.

“The recent emergence of the Omicron variant further emphasizes the importance of vaccination, boosters and prevention efforts needed to protect against COVID-19," said Dr. Rochelle Walensky, the CDC director. “Early data from South Africa suggest increased transmissibility of the Omicron variant, and scientists in the United States and around the world are urgently examining vaccine effectiveness related to this variant. I strongly encourage the 47 million adults who are not yet vaccinated to get vaccinated as soon as possible and to vaccinate the children and teens in their families as well because strong immunity will likely prevent serious illness."

For months, New Mexico has required that many workers in high-risk environments – including health care workers and those who work in congregate-care settings – be vaccinated. Public school workers and state employees must submit to weekly COVID testing if they are not vaccinated.

The amended public health order, issued Thursday, will require those categories of workers to receive a booster by Jan. 17, 2022 or within a month of eligibility.

“New Mexico is doing well with boosters, better than the national average, but we still must do better,” said Dr. Scrase. “Our hospitals are overfull, and the spread of the virus continues to exacerbate the issue. New Mexico isn’t an island, and we can’t prevent the new variant from arriving here. So we must defend ourselves with the tools we know to work: Masks, vaccines, and personal decisions that serve to protect the collective well-being.”

New Mexico’s indoor mask mandate also remains in place.

To read the amended public health order issued Thursday, click here.