SANTA FE, N.M. (KAMR/KCIT) — Officials with the New Mexico Department of Health announced that the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention signed off on an additional booster for people over 65 years old and individuals with weakened immune systems.

According to the release, the Food and Drug Administration encourages the additional dose for people over 65 years old to receive the vaccine at least four months after their previous updated shot.

Officials said people with immune deficiencies are also eligible, and the vaccines are free of charge.

“We urge New Mexicans to stay current with their COVID-19 vaccinations and especially encourage those who are over 65 years and those with weakened immune systems to get the additional booster shot available for them,” said Secretary Patrick Allen. “We are all ready to move on from the pandemic and the best way to do that is to get vaccinated to help protect both the vaccinated person and those around them by limiting the spread of the virus.” 

The release said around 20% of those eligible for the Omicron booster have the updated shot.

“The importance of the booster is that over time your protection from COVID-19 vaccines decrease,” said Deputy Secretary Dr. Laura Parajon. “We’d really like to see our Omicron booster vaccination rates for everyone eligible statewide rise in New Mexico to keep our residents healthy and to reduce their risk from hospitalizations and death from COVID-19.”

Officials detailed that If you are at least 65 years old and received your first bivalent booster at least four months ago, you are eligible to get a second one. The release said If you are immunocompromised and have received a bivalent booster at least two months ago, you are also eligible to get a second one.

According to the release, eligibility for extra doses for immunocompromised children 6 months through 4 years old will depend on which vaccine they have already received. Officials added that people with weak immune systems can receive additional doses at intervals decided by their doctors. People with weak immune systems may include people who have received organ or stem cell transplants, people with advanced or untreated HIV infection, people undergoing treatment for cancer, and people who are taking certain medications that weaken the immune system. 

Individuals can sign up for their vaccine appointment online on the CDC’s website.

For more information on COVID-19 boosters, visit  

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