The first community COVID-19 vaccination clinic in Carlsbad saw more than 500 people receive the inoculation Monday, according to Eddy County’s Emergency Manager.
Jennifer Armendariz said Monday’s clinic at the Walter Gerrells Performing Arts Center was the first of what could be many in Carlsbad.
She said the clinic was a collaboration between Eddy County, the City of Carlsbad, New Mexico Department of Health (DOH) and Carlsbad Medical Center (CMC).
“Our goal is to do those every Monday at the Civic Center with the same support team,” Armendariz said during Tuesday’s Eddy County Board of County Commissioners meeting.
“Monday went well. People there all worked together. There was people asking when they could come back and how they could help,” she said.
Melissa Suggs, CMC spokesperson, said 503 individuals received the vaccine Monday at the free clinic.
“These clinics will be held every Monday in March at the Walter Gerrells Civic Center, with the goal of vaccinating as many eligible individuals as possible,” she said.
Armendariz said 1,221 vaccinations were distributed in Carlsbad as of Monday. DOH sponsored two other clinics in January and February as CMC wasn’t involved.
Negotiations between government and medical entities led to the community wide clinics in Carlsbad, said Eddy County Spokesperson Jeri Strong.
“The City of Carlsbad and Eddy County have an excellent and long-standing relationship. We work well together at all levels, and we have been close partners throughout the COVID-19 outbreak. We communicate weekly or more often with local providers and related state agencies. Special thanks to County Manager Al Davis, Artesia Mayor Raye Miller and Loving Mayor Pete Estrada,” said Carlsbad Mayor Dale Janway.
Armendariz said the goal for officials is to order over 700 vaccines for the next clinic scheduled for March 8 in Carlsbad.
“We were pleased to be able to provide logistical support to this important effort, and we will continue to support future clinics in every way possible. We believe that these vaccine clinics help save lives and that they also are an important part of the path forward in terms of re-opening Carlsbad,” Janway said.
More than 23 percent of Eddy County residents were registered for the COVID-19 vaccination, DOH figures cited Wednesday afternoon.
DOH said 16.7 percent of Eddy County residents were partially vaccinated and 5.9 were fully vaccinated.
“Carlsbad Medical Center is fully committed to this effort, providing nursing staff to administer injections, administrative staff to assist with the check-in process, supplies and logistical support as needed,” Suggs said.
She said those eligible for the vaccine under the current Phase 1B of the Centers for Disease Control (CDC) and DOH’s COVID-19 vaccination plan include people 75 or older; people who are 16 years or older with at least one chronic condition.
“Anyone who is eligible for a vaccine in this phase can register with the NMDOH at cvvaccine.nmhealth.org to be added to their list. An NMDOH representative will contact you to make an appointment for one of the upcoming vaccination events,” Suggs added.
Armendariz said online registration allows health officials to filter appointments.
“If they show up without an appointment, we’ll have to turn them away,” Armendariz said.
Mike Smith can be reached at 575-628-5546 or by email at MSmith@currentargus.com or @ArgusMichae on Twitter.