New Mexico Public Health Association Expresses Gratitude To Legislature For COVID-19 Vaccine Requirement At Roundhouse

NMPHA News:

We are writing to express our deep gratitude to the legislature for requiring proof of (COVID-19) vaccination of any visitor to the Roundhouse.

Requiring vaccination of all visitors to the Roundhouse is a commonsense COVID-19 preventive measure that protects our communities.

Allowing for remote participation ensures that all interested parties—including those who choose to remain unvaccinated—can safely access appropriate official public business of the legislature, which strengthens the fairness and responsiveness of our state government.

We are appalled by the unscientific backlash to the legislature’s data-informed precautions. In the Roundhouse, nearly everyone is a “close contact” to everyone else. Without a vaccination requirement, many of the thousands of people visiting the capital during the legislative session would carry the disease home and infect family, friends, and community members.

The highly infectious Delta variant comprises nearly all of New Mexico’s current COVID-19 cases. Recent data suggest that the original two-dose vaccine series makes vaccinated individuals much less likely than unvaccinated individuals to contract and spread the Delta variant, but that individuals’ vaccine-induced immunity wanes over time, which is why getting a 3rd/booster doses is critical for all adults in New Mexico.

Our own New Mexico COVID-19 data demonstrate overwhelmingly that COVID-19 vaccinations provide significant protection against infection, severe disease, and death:

  • 72% of NM COVID-19 cases from 10/11/21 – 11/08/21 were unvaccinated individuals
  • 77% of NM COVID-19 hospitalizations from 10/11/21 – 11/08/21 were unvaccinated individuals
  • 95% of NM COVID-19 deaths from 10/11/21 – 11/08/21 were unvaccinated individuals

Because of the infectiousness of the Delta variant, waning immunity from vaccinations, and a large unvaccinated subset of the population, our state is experiencing a surge in COVID-19 cases. As a result, six of our hospitals are in crisis standards of care, pediatric cases are rising, and some New Mexico schools have returned to remote learning in order to curb the spread of COVID-19.

We applaud the legislature for implementing data-informed measures to save lives—including the lives of those in opposition to these measures—during this serious COVID-19 Delta variant-fueled surge.

Signed,

Shelley Mann-Lev, MPH
President, NM Public Health Association

Anna Rondon, Director of the New Mexico Social Justice & Equity Initiative
Co-President Elect, NM Public Health Association

Nai Walter, BSPH, MPH(c)
Co-President Elect, NM Public Health Association

Leah Sanchez, MPH
Executive Director, NM Public Health Association

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