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Coronavirus

New Mexico Planning for COVID-19 Vaccine Distribution

SANTA FE, N.M. — It’s too early to say whether a COVID-19 vaccine — once available — will be mandatory for certain people in New Mexico, but Gov. Michelle Lujan Grisham is indicating that health care workers, educators, nursing home residents and emergency responders could be among those required to be inoculated.

Acknowledging uncertainties about the availability and effectiveness of a vaccine, the Democratic governor said she expects a debate over mandating certain groups of people to accept the vaccine.

Her comments came during a recent briefing as pharmaceutical companies race to have a vaccine ready by early next year.

New Mexico has seen its daily COVID-19 case counts improve. On Tuesday, an additional 79 cases were confirmed, bringing the statewide total to nearly 23,580 since the pandemic began.

The governor’s administration has authority under a 2003 state law to issue vaccine orders during a declared public health emergency. The Albuquerque Journal reported that those who decline a vaccine for reasons of health, religion or conscience can be ordered to isolate or self-quarantine under the same law.

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