Justin Schatz is The Paper's daily news reporter. He has reported on New Mexico for KRQE News, Searchlight NM and the Santa Fe Reporter.

The New Mexico Department of Health (NMDOH) announced that businesses, churches, and other organizations can now hold onsite COVID-19 vaccination events.

The announcement is part of ongoing efforts by the state to improve accessibility to vaccines, as registrations slow around the state. The DOH is hoping its latest outreach efforts will spur public interest and overcome skepticism about the vaccine. “DOH is committed to making vaccines available to New Mexicans where they live and work,” Cabinet Secretary Dr. Tracie Collins said.  “By offering organizations the opportunity to request on-site vaccination events, we’ll make getting a shot even easier.”

As summer nears, the state is working hard with various community partnerships to reach the goal of fully vaccinating 60 percent of eligible New Mexicans against COVID-19 by the June 30 deadline set by the governor. As of May 11, just over 48 percent of New Mexicans are fully vaccinated.

As part of the community effort, New Mexico United, Western Sky Community Care and the DOH said they will be providing COVID-19 vaccinations at every home game starting this Saturday at the season-opening game at the Rio Grande Credit Union Field at Isotopes Park. In a press release, the Dept. of Health said vaccinations will be available for up to 150 ticketholders to the May 15 match in the New Mexico United tailgate lot. Western Sky Community Care will be dispensing the Pfizer vaccine to attendees and ticketholders receiving their first COVID-19 vaccination will get a voucher for a free ticket for a future New Mexico United match. Attendees can pre-register for their vaccination ahead of time at VaccineNM.org, but no appointment is necessary.

Organizations and businesses that are able to bring a minimum of 25 people to an event will be eligible to sign up to host an event. Events can be scheduled on the new DOH website. New Mexico residents can also continue to self-schedule through vaccineNM.org.