Overwhelming majority of people hospitalized, dying from COVID-19 in NM are not vaccinated

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ALBUQUERQUE, N.M.- Most people in New Mexico who are getting COVID-19 or dying from the virus are not vaccinated, according to state health officials.

From February 2021 to July 2021, 96% of all COVID-19 cases were among the unvaccinated population in New Mexico.

In that same time period, the state reports 95% of people who were hospitalized with the virus were unvaccinated.

Vaccinated people are also less likely to die from the virus. The state reports 98% of the people who died from COVID-19 from February to July were not vaccinated.

Human Services Sec. Dr. David Scrase said the pandemic is not over, and they are paying close attention to the virus in New Mexico.

"I feel like the virus is a tough opponent. With what other states are seeing a rise in the Delta virus, you’re seeing a re-imposition of mask requirements in some places," he said. "I think we have to stay vigilant, stay on our toes, and really look for any new emerging trends that could affect the health of New Mexicans.

Nearly 64% of New Mexicans 18 and over are fully vaccinated.

Health leaders the high vaccination rates are helping slow the rise of the Delta variant in New Mexico, but they would like to get vaccination rates even higher.

"We’re expecting it to spread more rapidly, particularly in cluster-type situations, like households where no one is vaccinated or if you had a band practice or choir practice, unvaccinated, that would be a giant problem without masks," Scrase said. "So, we’re just anticipating that but because of the lack of solid data of this rapid rise in other countries of what that means, were not sure."

The state is expecting an increase in cases of COVID-19 in August.

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