Rio Rancho will host a mass-vaccination event Friday.

The City of Rio Rancho and Spectra Venue Management, in conjunction with UNM Sandoval Regional Medical Center and the New Mexico Department of Health, will use the Rio Rancho Events Center for a COVID-19 first-shot vaccine event for about 2,000 people. A follow-up second-shot event will take place approximately three weeks later at the events center.

“Launching the Rio Rancho Events Center as a vaccination site is great news for Rio Rancho and for Sandoval County,” said Mayor Gregg Hull. “Many hours of hard work have gone into establishing a vaccination site at the Rio Rancho Events Center, and we couldn’t be happier to partner with all the organizations involved.”

Only people who are registered and selected to make an appointment through the state Department of Health vaccine system will be able to be immunized at the event.

“We are excited to continue to be part of the effort to vaccinate members of our community,” said SRMC President and CEO Jamie Silva-Steele. “Partnering on this mass vaccination strategy with the City of Rio Rancho, the Rio Rancho Events Center, NM Department of Health and Sandoval County allows us to work together to put our community first, and goes right to the heart of why we exist. We are proud to be part of this event.”

The city will pay venue expenses such as traffic control, facility use, labor, cleaning and public safety up front for this event and the follow-up. Then city employees expect to submit requests for 100 percent reimbursement via recently announced opportunities through the federal government and Federal Emergency Management Agency.

Based on vaccine availability and distribution via federal and state government, the city and SRMC hope additional large-scale vaccination events can be scheduled in the near future.

The city and Spectra are working to secure large-scale vaccination events with private pharmacy partners, which requires state approval. Should these partnerships be approved, the city and events center will enter into agreements with these private partners regarding costs and reimbursements that mirror the arrangements in place with SRMC.

New Mexicans can register with the state to be vaccinated at vaccineNM.org or 1-855-600-3453.

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