LAS CRUCES, New Mexico -- The secretary-designate of the New Mexico Department of Health apologized Monday for the cancellation of more than 1,000 teacher vaccination appointments across southern New Mexico.
"I really apologize for that," said Secretary-Designate Dr. Tracie Collins with the New Mexico Department of Health. "It should not have happened."
As ABC-7 reported on Friday, the state reversed course and canceled at least 1,400 appointments for southern New Mexico educators to get their vaccines.
“It’s disappointing to say the least," said a Las Cruces Public Schools spokeswoman on Friday.
A state spokesman said a Department of Health employee accidentally gave the go-ahead for those appointments, as well as massive vaccination events in the northern part of the state, which were also canceled Thursday.
“We had problems with internal communication in the department, which led to confusion," Collins said. "That led to us having to cancel these events because it was not in the order that we’ve outlined for who is currently to be vaccinated."
At least 1,050 educators received their first doses of the vaccine last week at MountainView Regional Medical Center, according to LCPS. The district is working to determine how many received their vaccines at Memorial Medical Center.
"We will give the second dose to everyone that received their first at MMC," wrote a spokesman for the hospital. "Those appointments have not been canceled."
On Friday, the superintendent of Gadsden Independent School District had an optimistic goal of vaccinating 900 educators in the next three weeks.
“We’ve had a really positive experience," said Superintendent Travis Dempsey. "We’ve had ample opportunities to provide to our staff.”
However, the New Mexico Department of Health spokesman said young educators without underlying health conditions will not get vaccines at this time.
"Unless those educators qualify under the current eligibility criteria, or unless they are educators who have already (received) a first dose and are now receiving a booster, they may not get vaccine," wrote Matt Bieber, the Health Department spokesman.