State of New Mexico Offers Guidance on Pfizer COVID-19 Vaccine Booster Doses
SANTA FE – On Monday, the New Mexico Department of Health (DOH) offered guidance on Pfizer COVID-19 vaccine booster distribution, following a series of steps taken by the federal FDA and CDC last week.
- CDC recommends that the following groups should receive a booster shot of Pfizer-BioNTech’s COVID-19 Vaccine at least 6 months after completing their Pfizer-BioNTech primary series (i.e., the first 2 doses of a COVID-19 vaccine):
- people aged 65 years and older
- residents aged 18 years and older in long-term care settings
- people aged 50–64 years with underlying medical conditions
- CDC also recommends that the following groups may receive a booster shot of Pfizer-BioNTech’s COVID-19 Vaccine at least 6 months after completing their Pfizer-BioNTech primary series, based on their individual benefits and risks:
- people aged 18–49 years with underlying medical conditions
- people aged 18–64 years at increased risk for COVID-19 exposure and transmission because of occupational or institutional setting
These recommendations only apply to people who previously received a Pfizer-BioNTech primary series (i.e., the first 2 doses of a COVID-19 vaccine).
- Occupations at increased risk for COVID-19 exposure and transmission include front line essential workers and health care workers as previously detailed by the CDC:
- First responders (healthcare workers, firefighters, police, congregate care staff)
- Education staff (teachers, support staff, daycare workers)
- Food and agriculture workers
- Manufacturing workers
- Corrections workers
- U.S. Postal Service workers
- Public transit workers
- Grocery store workers
- Access to Pfizer Booster Doses for Qualifying Patients in New Mexico:
- New Mexico COVID-19 vaccine providers can start providing the Pfizer booster dose to eligible patients immediately.
- NMDOH is asking providers to prioritize, through scheduling and outreach, the higher risk groups: those 65 years and over and those who are 50 – 64 with underlying medical conditions.
- NM will follow the eligibility criteria set forth by the CDC and included in the updated EUA. Pfizer-BioNTech COVID-19 Vaccine EUA Fact Sheet for Recipients and Caregivers (fda.gov) but will work to prioritize the people at highest risk first.
- Eligible patients are encouraged to schedule their booster dose with their medical team – their primary care provider, specialist, or pharmacy provider.
- The statewide registration app – https://vaccineNM.org – allows booster dose scheduling for people who meet the above criteria for a Pfizer booster dose. Appointments for the first two weeks will be reserved for those in the highest risk categories: age 65+ and 50 – 64 years with underlying medical conditions. Going forward, a portion of appointments will be reserved for this high-risk group.
- New Mexicans who need help scheduling can call the DOH hotline at 1-855-600-3453; option 0. This hotline is primarily intended for seniors and those without internet.
- DOH recognizes that not all providers or patients use the registration app. Patients can schedule either through the registration app or through their medical team, primary care provider, or pharmacist.
- DOH especially encourages New Mexicans to schedule their booster doses (and any remaining primary doses) alongside their regular flu shots. These shots can be administered at the same time.
- Proof of qualifying condition is not required; however, patients should be able to provide verbal information about their medical condition.
- DOH encourages medical teams to reach out to their eligible patients to inform them of the Pfizer booster dose recommendation.