US Surgeon General talks vaccinations goals for NM

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ALBUQUERQUE, N.M- New Mexico health leaders and federal health leaders teamed up for a big discussion Tuesday on the pandemic.

The collaborative discussion had the New Mexico Gov. Michelle Lujan Grisham, state health and hospital leaders, and US Surgeon General, Vivek Murthy in attendance.

The health leaders said New Mexico has around 63% of the population fully vaccinated, and they said the work is not done.

“What we found in the country as a whole is what the main barriers to people not getting vaccinated, they fall in three buckets. There’s misinformation, there’s motivation, some people feel like the pandemic is over we don’t really need it,” said Murthy. “50% feel that the number of cases has fallen so low that vaccinations are no longer needed. That’s concerning. So motivation is an issue, and the third is access.”

Some providers said this issue has become political, some people just do not want to get the vaccine.

Health providers basically want to let people know that providers are here and available to talk to you and walk you through the vaccination process.

Pediatric providers also said their position is unique and can reach some of those hard-to-reach people.

“I see my parents a lot. Especially over the first few years so I do think taking advantage of people who see pediatric patients, newborns and up especially those who are 12 and under who can’t be vaccinated because I do use that as a tool. If you get vaccinated, you’re protecting your vulnerable child,” said a health provider.

There was some mention, in the meeting, that this pandemic really may not be over.

According to data from the Department of health, the Delta variant doesn’t appear to be a big part of New Mexico case count, for now.

Health officials are going to provide the state with an update about Delta variant trends on Wednesday.

Murthy and Gov. Lujan Grisham also helped praise health care workers who stepped up during the pandemic.