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Long lines of cars and trucks headed to the Corrales Recreation Center Thursday, February 11 as vaccinations for COVID-19 began here. Under the direction of Fire Department Battalion Commander Tanya Lattin, several Village and N.M. Department of Health (NMDOH) personnel guided and registered people who had previously established eligibility with the NMDOH.

On that first day, 167 people were vaccinated at the rec center “point of distribution (POD). Two injection stations were set up under the solar electric arrays in the parking lot for “drive-by shootings” into arms through vehicle windows. Lattin said those vaccinated February 11 experienced no adverse reactions during a short period of observation.

She said initial vaccinations here will continue once a week, Thursdays from 1 to 4 p.m. in the parking lot in front of the recreation center’s multi-use building. Vaccinations are by appointment only; those to be vaccinated must have registered with the N.M. Department of Health. Persons desiring vaccine protection from COVID-19 here or elsewhere in New Mexico should sign up at the N.M. Department of Health website, htpps://cvvaccine.nmhealth.org. Lattin urged villagers to call her for assistance with the registration process. She can be reached at 702-4182.

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“For the first three weeks, the rec center location will be a site for initial vaccinations, and on the fourth week, it will operate morning and afternoon for second doses and first doses as long as vaccine is allocated.

“This is currently the only Corrales NMDOH location, and as it takes a large number of staff to operate, I do not see any other locations being set up in Corrales,” Lattin explained. She said she is aware that Corrales Pharmacy has been trying to gain authorization from NMDOH to vaccinate there as well. As of February 13, 262 cases of the deadly coronavirus were recorded in Corrales. There were 179.724 cases statewide, and 3,502 had died.

By age group, most Sandoval County COVID-19 cases were among people between the ages of 20 and 30, followed by those in the 30-40 age group. But the rates of infection were in steep decline in New Mexico, in line with trends nationwide.

“It’s so nice to report some good news on the COVID front,” Mayor Jo Anne Roake said. “Sandoval County, along with 14 others in New Mexico, has moved to ‘Yellow.’ In keeping with the public health order, Village outdoor recreational facilities are open at 25 percent capacity.

“Indoor dining is allowed at 25 percent, outdoor dining at 75 percent. Businesses can operate at 25 percent. Mass gatherings are now at 10.” The mayor urged Corraleños to continue wearing masks, try to remain at home and get vaccinated. “Along with COVID safe practices, to overcome the virus, we must get vaccinated. New Mexico already has 16 percent fewer cases because of vaccinations. Please register for your vaccine.

“Finally, please get tested. If the test is positive, you’ll get the help you need fast; if it’s negative, you’ll help reduce the positivity rate.” That positivity rate is the basis for loosening (or tightening) restrictions, such as those for restaurants, bars, sporting events and other sites where patrons might be exposed to the virus. The recent decreases meant the Health Department could show Sandoval County as having moved from the “Red” designation to “Yellow.” No counties had progressed to “Green” as of February 13.

New Mexico was among the highest ranked states for actually distributing vaccine available. As of February 12, the state had vaccinated people with 394,720 doses out of the 429,950 received, a delivery rate of almost 92 percent. But only around 13 percent of all New Mexicans had gotten their first shot. New Mexico ranked third in the nation, behind only Utah and West Virginia, for using the vaccine made available. The state was third, behind Alaska and West Virginia, for percentage of total population to have received at least the first dose.

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