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Governor says COVID-19 vaccines should be in NH later this month

Keene Sentinel
Published: 12/4/2020 3:08:56 PM

New Hampshire should get its first doses of coronavirus vaccine later this month, allowing it to start vaccinating health care workers and other high-priority groups, Gov. Chris Sununu said Thursday.

Sununu said he expects the first batch of Pfizer vaccines in the third week of December, followed by a shipment from Moderna early the following week, for a total of 10,000 to 40,000.

The state is planning to vaccinate people in several phases. The first group includes health care workers, first responders and older residents in nursing homes and assisted-living facilities — about 100,000 in all. Because the state won’t immediately get that many vaccines, there is a prioritization plan within that first group, said Elizabeth R. Daly, chief of the state’s Bureau of Infectious Disease Control. The first vaccines will go to about 12,000 front-line health care workers at hospitals, followed by other hospital workers, staff at long-term care facilities, home health care workers, first responders and older residents in institutional settings.

“It’s going to take many weeks for us to vaccinate everyone in Phase 1A,” Daly said of that first group of 100,000.

As of Oct. 30, when the state released its draft vaccine distribution plan, it had not worked out the specifics of prioritization for later phases.

Generally, under national guidance cited in the plan, Phase 1B would include people with underlying health conditions that put them at significantly higher risk for serious complications from COVID-19. Phase 2 would cover teachers and child care workers; critical workers whose jobs put them at high risk of exposure; residents and staff at homeless shelters, group homes, jails and prisons; older adults; and people at moderately higher risk for complications due to underlying conditions. Phase 3 would include children and young adults.

Sununu said he thinks vaccines might be available to the general public around March or April, though it could be later.

Not included in the rubric: state officeholders. In response to a question at the news conference, Sununu said he won’t get special treatment, noting that he’s a relatively healthy 46-year-old.

“I’m in the mix with probably the bulk of the general population,” he said. “But when it’s time to get vaccinated, I’m happy to be the first one up there.”

Because it will be months before most New Hampshire residents are vaccinated, he urged people to continue basic public-health measures like wearing masks, social distancing and washing hands.

“Hopefully we’re getting toward the end, but we are not at the end,” he said.


These articles are being shared by partners in The Granite State News Collaborative. For more information visit collaborativenh.org.

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