New Mexico’s health department announced today it will be partnering with Albuquerque Area Southwest Tribal Epidemiology Center, Con Alma Health Foundation and the University of New Mexico Center for Social Policy, using $4.6 million in grants from the WK Kellogg Foundation to continue equity-based outreach in its COVID-19 vaccination strategy.
The news accompanied national and New Mexico survey results from a vaccine poll from the African American Research Collaborative and the Commonwealth Fund examining vaccine hesitancy, access and messaging, among other issues. At the national level, Blacks, Hispanics and Native Americans ranked as having the highest percentage of vaccine hesitancy: 41% among Blacks and 40% among Hispanics and Native Americans in the poll, which says it surveyed more than 12,000 people nationally.
In New Mexico, Native Americans had the highest percentage of hesitancy: 30%, followed by white people at 23% and Asian American Pacific Islander community members at 22%. Within New Mexico, only 4% of Black respondents expressed hesitancy. However, Gabe Sanchez, executive director for UNM’s Center for Social Policy, tells SFR that he “would put a little bit of caution” in interpreting results from AAPI and Black respondents, as surveys remain in the field to expand response from both groups. Thus far, he said, close to 2,100 New Mexicans have participated in the survey, and he estimated national participation as closer to 15,000 at this point.
New Mexico’s Hispanic population had 19% hesitation. Sanchez said it’s typical in polling that New Mexico’s Hispanic population will “have a little bit of a different pattern” from national results, given its majority population in the state and strong presence in government, among other unique attributes.
That being said, Hispanics do trail behind other racial groups in the state for vaccination, according to DOH’s vaccine dashboard, with 43% fully vaccinated; Blacks in New Mexico currently have the lowest percentage of completed vaccination at 39.3%. Those figures could indicate barriers versus hesitancy. According to the survey’s New Mexico results, 89% of Hispanics surveyed and 92% of Blacks said they faced barriers, such as lack of transportation or scheduling conflicts, in obtaining a vaccine.
The survey also gauged vaccine hesitancy by political party, with Republicans leading at the national level with 44% hesitancy, followed closely by Independent/Other at 43% and Democrats at 26%. In New Mexico, Republicans also lead with 32% hesitancy; Independent/Other 27% and Democrats 11%.
Female participants were more hesitant than male at both the national and statewide level: 43% versus 31% in the first case and 25% versus 20% in New Mexico, with the rare blood clots caused by the Johnson & Johnson COVID-19 vaccine ranked as the top concern among the unvaccinated at both the national and state level.
The survey also gauged the most effective messages and messengers for people who are hesitant to receive a vaccine. “Getting a COVID-19 vaccine can protect the lives of my family, friends, and those I love” emerged as the most effective message both nationally and in the state, with primary care physicians ranking as the most effective messenger.
In New Mexico and nationally, the majority of those surveyed said they would prefer to receive the vaccine at their doctor’s office, one of the more surprising poll results, Sanchez says. “That seems more cumbersome,” he noted.
The multi-organization partnership has both short and long-term goals. In the immediate future, continued efforts to provide equitable access to COVID-19 vaccines remains front and center. “I think the beauty of it is it’s already proven to be effective as a partnership,” Sanchez says, noting that researchers have been able to pull out data in real time and share it with health care partners “so they could update their outreach” efforts. For example, the recent $100 vaccine incentives came from polling data showing the efficacy of small incentives. In the longer term, Sanchez and leaders from each organization hope to use the model and the data to address the systemic inequities and access to health care overall. “It’s absolutely aiming at improving policy,” Sanchez says, “and to try to identify...what the survey tells us about about people’s attitudes toward the health system and the discrimination experiences some have unfortunately experienced.”
In statements, AASTEC Program Director, Michelle Suina said by working together, the groups would be able to examine “how our respective organizations may be contributing to institutional barriers that create inequities or how we are dismantling them,” and identified the need to recognize tribal sovereignty and listen to tribal communities as “critical” in these efforts. Con Alma Health Foundation Executive Director Denise Herrera said the partnership had resulted in the foundation “awarding grants to nonprofits, ensuring COVID vaccines are distributed equitably across the state and to support communities of color to address the disproportionate impact the pandemic has had on them.”
New Mexico health officials today reported 100 new COVID-19 cases, bringing the statewide total so far to 205,058.
Bernalillo County had the most new cases: 29, followed by San Juan County with 12 and Valencia County with 11. Santa Fe County had four cases.
The state also announced four additional deaths from four counties; there have now been 4,330 fatalities.
As of today, 79 people are hospitalized with COVID-19.*
Currently, 68.5% of New Mexicans have had at least one dose of a COVID-19 vaccine and 59.9% are fully vaccinated. In Santa Fe County, 77.4% have had at least one dose and 68.2% are fully inoculated.
- 29 new cases in Bernalillo County
- 3 new cases in Catron County
- 1 new case in Chaves County
- 1 new case in Cibola County
- 10 new cases in Doña Ana County
- 4 new cases in Eddy County
- 2 new cases in Guadalupe County
- 2 new cases in Lea County
- 1 new case in McKinley County
- 4 new cases in Otero County
- 2 new cases in Rio Arriba County
- 1 new case in Roosevelt County
- 3 new cases in Sandoval County
- 12 new cases in San Juan County
- 5 new cases in San Miguel County
- 4 new cases in Santa Fe County
- 2 new cases in Taos County
- 3 new cases in Torrance County
- 11 new cases in Valencia County
- A male in his 80s from Bernalillo County who was hospitalized and had underlying conditions
- A female in her 0s from Doña Ana County who was hospitalized and had underlying conditions
- A female in her 80s from Otero County who was hospitalized
- A male in her 60s from San Juan County who was hospitalized and had underlying conditions
The Department of Health has identified at least one positive COVID-19 case in residents and/or staff in the past 28 days at the following facilities:
- The Aristocrat Assisted Living in Alamogordo
- Beehive Homes Clovis
- Beehive Homes Farmington
- Cedar Ridge Inn in Farmington
- Good Samaritan Society Las Cruces
- Laguna Rainbow Care in Casa Blanca
- The Neighborhood in Rio Rancho Assisted Living in Rio Rancho
- Red Rocks Care Center in Gallup
- Retirement Ranches in Clovis
- The Rio Las Estancias in Albuquerque
- Sierra Hills Assisted Living in Truth or Consequences
- Sombrillo Nursing Home in Los Alamos
- Sugar Hollow Assisted Living in Albuquerque
County totals are subject to change upon further investigation and determination of residency of individuals positive for COVID-19. Previously reported numbers included two cases in Doña Ana County that have been identified as duplicates and one case in Doña Ana County that was not lab-confirmed; these have now been corrected.
- Bernalillo County: 58,976
- Catron County: 98
- Chaves County: 9,065
- Cibola County: 2,901
- Colfax County: 799
- Curry County: 5,321
- De Baca County: 178
- Doña Ana County: 25,074
- Eddy County: 6,939
- Grant County: 1,748
- Guadalupe County: 463
- Harding County: 13
- Hidalgo County: 366
- Lea County: 8,445
- Lincoln County: 1,763
- Los Alamos County: 537
- Luna County: 3,376
- McKinley County: 12,371
- Mora County: 173
- Otero County: 4,059
- Quay County: 537
- Rio Arriba County: 3,754
- Roosevelt County: 2,029
- Sandoval County: 12,226
- San Juan County: 15,680
- San Miguel County: 1,402
- Santa Fe County: 10,578
- Sierra County: 781
- Socorro County: 1,325
- Taos County: 1,709
- Torrance County: 884
- Union County: 259
- Valencia County: 6,890
Cases among people being held by federal agencies
- Cibola County Correctional Center: 445
- Otero County Federal Prison Facility: 447
- Otero County Processing Center: 257
- Torrance County Detention Facility: 204
Cases among people being held by the New Mexico Department of Corrections
- Central New Mexico Correctional Facility in Valencia County: 298
- Guadalupe County Correctional Facility: 253
- Lea County Correctional Facility: 762
- Northeast New Mexico Correctional Facility in Union County: 167
- Northwest New Mexico Correctional Center in Cibola County: 128
- Otero County Prison Facility: 473
- Penitentiary of New Mexico in Santa Fe County: 219
- Roswell Correctional Center: 229
- Southern New Mexico Correctional Facility in Doña Ana County: 231
- Springer Correctional Center in Colfax County: 151
- Western New Mexico Correctional Facility in Cibola County: 75
*Per the health department, hospitalization figures include people who were tested elsewhere but are hospitalized in New Mexico, but don’t include people who were tested here but are hospitalized out of state.