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Las Cruces 2/3 Echo

Participants: Andrew Baker, Barbara Webber, Loren Schoonover, Joe Martinez, Corrina Klein, Andrea N



  • AN: New mandate that all first responders get vaccinated, still open to the public on Wednesdays. Still not able to go into the nursing homes and visitors’ facilities. They’re also doing vaccinations for nursing home employees, but it’s not mandatory. Everything is moving slowly, but we’re getting there. Trying to get a program going to keep an eye on elderly folks, especially in rural communities.

    • BW: Vaccination seems to be a choice in some communities, interesting that it’s required there. Keep hearing from people that they don’t know where to register for the vaccine, especially for rural, and aging populations.

  • AN: Thinking about that this weekend. Getting people out to assist would probably be done through the aging and long-term services department. That will be important to the next level of roll-out and getting them enrolled. Right now it’s just DOH, but people aren’t getting calls back. Some people have been on there for a month but still haven’t heard anything back.

    • BW: There’s also a need for targeted and clear information about the vaccine, there’s a big concern about misinformation.

  • AN: Do you have any recommendations about how that information can be improved?

    • LS: Uncle in Mesquite. He’s registered, but thinking about not taking it. He’s at the age where you shouldn’t argue with him. Saying “I’m going to take it” made him think about it. They’re uneasy because they’ve heard about it, but having a trusted contact take the vaccine increases the likelihood that they’ll get vaccinated.

  • BW: National statistic is that 30% or less accepted to take the vaccine at this time. Important to get good information out to people.

  • MO: Hearing different things from my sources. Over 80% of people getting vaccinated are white. Because of inequities in internet/computer access, people are not able to make educated decisions and get in contact with people who are getting the vaccines. It’s highly inequitable right now. There are 3 to 4 different agencies that are trying to get out the message, but it’s not consistent. We’re not reaching rural areas or making use of all available pathways. In NC, they’ve created a fun message in the form of an earworm so people are constantly getting that message, but in NM we’re still divided.

  • JM: There was a webinar today from ECHO, it was good information, but their whole focus was still pretty ABQ-centric. They had one person from southern NM who did a good job of reminding people about rural communities and challenges. Her idea was to create better partnerships with trusted local groups to get out that message.

  • AN: News from the department, they’re still considering how to get the vaccine out to rural communities, but don’t want to overpromise and under deliver.

  • JM: They’re immediately increasing the number of doses being sent to states by something like 10%. They’re going to be shipped weekly. DOH will then be in charge of getting that out to different areas. Why isn’t the governor out there negotiating to get more doses of the vaccine. NY is having a similar problem. Local coordination needs to happen to make sure that we’re not going top-down.

  • BW: Some people still have bad info on the vaccine, people today talking about “the first thing I’m going to do after I get the vaccine is have dinner with my whole family.” We need clear and fast messaging from a singular source.

  • LS: Got a call yesterday about someone who submitted registration a month in advance and just got a message back now.

    • BW: I got a message back that registration had been received about 6 weeks after I went through registration.

  • JM: is still the one portal to get information and get registered.

Rural Voices for COVID Recovery