En español | Who can get vaccinated now?
- Adults 75 and older, and those 16 and older with underlying medical conditions, may get vaccinated now (Phase 1B).
- Staff and residents of long term care facilities, health care employees, those who work in group settings such homeless shelters, correctional facilities, residential treatment centers and community homes are also eligible for vaccinations (Phase 1A).
Where can I get vaccinated?
- Certain hospitals, retail pharmacies, doctors’ offices and dental offices — and several public spaces — are administering vaccines to those who are eligible.
- To schedule a vaccination appointment, you should first create a profile by filling out an online registration form at vaccineNM.org. You will receive a confirmation code to access your profile and enter your information.
- Mass vaccinations, such as those at the University of New Mexico, require resident to go through the registration process on vaccineNM.org.
- Walgreens is participating in the Federal Retail Pharmacy Program and may be scheduling appointments based on availability.
- New Mexico provides several toll-free COVID-19 related hotlines:
- Health: 855-600-3453
- Information: 833-551-0518
- Senior Food Hotline: 800-432-2080
- Vaccine supplies are limited and are available only to those now eligible under the state’s phased plan. Most vaccine sites require you to schedule an appointment online or by phone. Appointments can be very hard to get, as available time slots are booked quickly, and you may experience long wait times on the phone. If a time slot is not available, you may be put on the site’s waiting list. Some people are signing up at multiple sites to increase chances of getting an appointment. Once you have a confirmed appointment, public health officials ask that you don’t schedule or confirm another with any other provider so that vaccine appointments stay open for others.
AARP recommends that you ask your doctor about the safety, effectiveness, benefits and risks of the coronavirus vaccine. Older adults, especially those with underlying medical conditions, are at increased risk for hospitalization and death from COVID-19.
What should I bring to my vaccination appointment?
Some vaccination sites ask for proof of identity or eligibility. Officials recommend that you bring a driver’s license or other state-issued ID that shows your name, age and state residency, and your health insurance card, if you have one. You will not be charged, but the vaccine provider may bill your insurer a fee for administering the vaccine.
If you are eligible due to an underlying medical condition or comorbidity, you may need a note from your doctor or some other form of proof. If you are eligible on the basis of your work, bring proof of employment such as a pay stub, badge or letter from your employer.
The U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) says to wear a mask at your appointment.
Who will be eligible to get vaccinated next?
- The rest of Phase 1B: Essential workers who are unable to do their jobs remotely (such as those who work in education, grocery stores, public health, transit, indigent care and nonhospital laboratories) and vulnerable residents of group homes should be eligible later in the winter or spring.
- Those 60 and older and additional essential workers are in Phase 1C for vaccination and will be eligible at a later date.
- Residents 16 and older are in the state’s Phase 2 group.
AARP is fighting for older Americans to be prioritized in getting one of the COVID-19 vaccines because the science shows that older people are at higher risk of death from the coronavirus.
How will residents of nursing homes and other long-term care facilities get vaccinated?
Most residents and staff of long-term care facilities are being vaccinated through a federal program that has contracted with CVS and Walgreens to administer the two-dose COVID-19 vaccines at three free on-site clinics at the facilities. New Mexico is taking part in the program.
Almost all nursing homes, which were given first priority, have completed their first and second clinics, and most have also finished their final clinics, according to data from CVS and Walgreens. Many assisted living and other long-term care facilities are also taking part in the program. Almost all of them have completed their first clinics, and most have completed their second. All the vaccination clinics are slated to be complete by late March.
I’ve heard that some vaccines require a second shot.
The COVID-19 vaccines from Pfizer and Moderna require two doses. If you get one of these, you’ll need a follow-up dose to be effectively immunized. The recommended second-shot date is three weeks after a first dose of the Pfizer vaccine and four weeks for Moderna’s, but the CDC says an interval of up to six weeks is acceptable. You should get a card from your provider stating when and where to return for the second dose. The state says it will send reminders via text, emails and phone calls.
Johnson & Johnson’s vaccine requires just one shot.
It’s not yet known how long immunity from a coronavirus vaccine lasts and whether it needs to be administered on a regular basis like a flu shot.
Do I have to pay for the vaccination?
You should not have any out-of-pocket cost for getting the vaccine. AARP fought to make sure the federal government is covering the cost of the vaccine itself. Providers can recoup a fee for administering the shot, but not from consumers. They would be reimbursed by the patient’s insurance company or the government (in the case of Medicare and Medicaid beneficiaries and the uninsured, for example).
Scammers are purporting to offer COVID vaccines and treatments and trying to charge for them. AARP's Fraud Watch Network is tracking the latest scams.
Should I still wear a mask after getting vaccinated?
Yes. Experts still need to learn more about the protection the vaccines provide under “real-world conditions,” the CDC says. It could take your body a few weeks to build up immunity after the second dose.
The vaccine is just one tool that can help slow the spread of the coronavirus. The CDC says it could take months for the population to build up immunity and continues to recommend preventive measures such as face masks and social distancing.
In addition, it’s not yet clear how effective the vaccines are against new, more contagious strains of the coronavirus initially identified in the United Kingdom, South Africa, Brazil and elsewhere, although they would still provide some protection.
WATCH: AARP’s CEO on Fighting for Your COVID-19 Vaccination
This guide, originally published Jan. 21, was updated Feb. 27 with new information on the Johnson & Johnson vaccine.
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