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City Helping Seniors Register for COVID Vaccine

Department of Senior Affairs staff assisting ABQ metro area seniors who call 311

The City of Albuquerque Department of Senior Affairs, in partnership with the State of New Mexico and 311, is helping register Albuquerque metro area seniors 60 and up in the New Mexico Department of Health’s (NM DOH) vaccination database. All New Mexicans can also still register via Seniors who live in the Albuquerque metro area and would like to register over the phone can call 311.

“The pandemic has had devastating effects on our seniors, who are at a higher risk and are also feeling the impacts of the long isolation COVID has created. We want to make sure any senior who needs help knows the City is there as a resource,” said Mayor Tim Keller.

Seniors who do not have internet access or who need help navigating the vaccine registration system now can call 311 to get help. The City’s 311 operators will take down contact information and a DSA staff member will reach out within a few days to begin the registration process.

“We’re so pleased to see the City of Albuquerque leading by example and taking these measures to assist our seniors,” said N.M. Aging and Long-Term Services Department Secretary Katrina Hotrum-Lopez. “Vaccine registration collaborations like this one are the most effective way to advocate for and protect our New Mexico seniors. Mayor Keller and Director Sanchez, thank you for leading by example. I hope to see more cities and counties follow Albuquerque’s lead in the days to come.”

Senior Affairs has dedicated 46 team members to registration efforts in order to ease barriers for metro-area seniors. Staff has been provided with access to and training in the NM DOH database and HIPAA training through coordinated efforts with NM ALTSD.

“Many seniors don’t have access to internet or may have difficulty navigating the registration process, and that’s where our trained team members can make a big difference,” said Department of Senior Affairs Director Anna Sanchez. “Seniors are especially vulnerable to the effects of COVID-19 and getting the vaccine is critical to keeping them safe.”

Seniors who request support will need a landline or cell phone that can receive the return call from Senior Affairs and that later will be used by NM DOH to schedule them for the vaccine. Senior Affairs staff does not have the ability to provide additional information to seniors who have already registered for the vaccine and will not be able to influence scheduling, which will still be coordinated by NM DOH.

311 will be able to take calls related to vaccine registration Monday through Saturday - 6 a.m. to 9 p.m. and Senior Affairs staff will register people Monday through Friday between 8:15 a.m. and 4:30 p.m.