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Surgeon General thanks health care workers in New Mexico

July 14, 2021 GMT

SANTA FE, N.M. (AP) — Surgeon General Vivek Murthy met with New Mexico officials and spoke at an awards ceremony honoring health care workers.

Murthy thanked nurses, doctors, and a laboratory manager for their work fighting the pandemic, but warned that the task of caring for the sick and inoculating the hesitant is not over.

“We are so incredibly grateful,” Murthy told health care workers. “But we need your help in the weeks and months ahead.”

Gov. Michelle Lujan Grisham thanked eight health care workers at the event, issuing them individual gubernatorial proclamations on the second floor of the New Mexico History Museum.

State health officials reported an additional death Tuesday, and 116 additional COVID-19 cases.

Almost 65% of the state’s adults are fully vaccinated, higher than the national average of around 48%. But come counties have vaccination rates as low as 30%. And only around 45% of eligible people ages 12-17 have gotten their shots.

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“We still have in New Mexico, and more so in many other parts of our country, pockets where our brothers and sisters are not vaccinated,” Murthy said.

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Attanasio is a corps member for the Associated Press/ Report for America Statehouse News Initiative. Report for America is a nonprofit national service program that places journalists in local newsrooms to report on under-covered issues. Follow Attanasio on Twitter.