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New Hampshire COVID-19 vaccine information

Published: 2/23/2021 2:03:59 PM

How do I sign up?

Residents age 65 and older and other qualifying individuals should register to be vaccinated at one of the state’s fixed-site clinics by visiting vaccines.nh.gov or by calling 2-1-1. The Department of Health is requesting that people avoid calling the hotline unless it is an emergency or you do not have access to the internet. 

After you register on the website, you will receive an email from no-reply@mail.vams.cdc.gov within 48 hours (check your spam and junk folders). The email will guide you through series of medical questions and will prompt you to select a date, time and location for your appointment.

This process will change some time in February, when the state plans on transitioning from a federal registration system to a state registration system.

Starting this week, Walgreens will be given 3,400 doses of the COVID-19 vaccine to help expedite the vaccination process. Gov. Chris Sununu said the pharmacy will start calling residents who have the latest first dose appointments to reschedule to an earlier time.

There are different processes for those with medical conditions, according to a health alert message issued.

Providers who plan to vaccinate their own patients will register and schedule eligible patients and report data to the state’s immunization information system. Those that do not have access to the vaccine or plan to refer patients to fixed sites will enter patient information into the state’s vaccine management system, which will generate an email invitation to the patient to schedule an appointment. For providers who don’t have access to the system or for patients that do not have email, the provider will pass along information to the state about eligible patients, and the state will call them to schedule appointments.

When will I actually get my shot? 

Appointment slots began on Jan. 26. and will continue for several weeks. If you sign up to receive your shot at one of the state’s sites, your time slot will be allocated on a first-come, first-served basis, depending on how many appointments there are at the location you selected.

Doses are doled out to vaccination sites based on a number of factors like how many the site is fit to administer, how equitable the distribution is and how geographically accessible the vaccines are. At first, the state’s fixed sites will have the bulk of the doses because they are easily opened. 

Where will vaccinations take place? 

There are currently 13 fixed sites that will be open for vaccinations in the coming weeks. These sites are in Concord, Tamworth, Nashua, Hooksett, Exeter, Londonderry, Dover, Littleton, Lebanon, Laconia, Plymouth, Keene and Claremont. These sites will vaccinate people in their cars, minimizing the risk of COVID-19 spreading between residents.

Other state-run sites may open if New Hampshire receives more doses of the vaccine. Hospitals and other providers may open their own vaccination clinics.

What do I bring to the appointment? 

If you qualify for the vaccine because you are older than 65, you should bring proof of your age (ex. a driver’s license, birth certificate). You should also bring proof that you are a resident of New Hampshire. If you don’t have a N.H driver’s license, you can bring a utility bill with your name on it.

How will I know when to get my second dose? 

Both of the available COVID-19 vaccines, Moderna and Pfizer, require a second shot about a month after the first. Starting Feb. 7 people recieved a card that lists their second-dose location and appointment time while they are getting their first dose of the COVID-19 shot. This means residents will no longer have to register for their next appointment. You will still be able to reschedule your appointment if you would like a different time by logging into the appointment registration site. 

People who have already signed up for appointments that are beyond the recommended 21 or 28 day period should cancel their appointment and wait for earlier appointments near them to open, the Governor said at a press conference. The Department of Health is frequently updating the website with new second-dose appointments. 

You will also receive a vaccination record card that documents your first dose. You should bring this card with you to your second vaccination appointment.

Who can sign up now? 

Residents age 65 and older, residents and staff of facilities for people with developmental disabilities, corrections officers, health care workers not previously vaccinated and those with two or more medical conditions, including cancer, chronic kidney disease, high-risk pulmonary disease, hear conditions, poor immune system, obesity, pregnancy and diabetes, among others.

How many doses of the vaccine does New Hampshire have? 

There are an estimated 325,000 people in phase 1b, about three times the amount in the first phase of front line workers. As of Feb. 11, the state had 62,110 doses allocated for this phase — about 19% of the amount required to fully vaccinate the group. 

How much does the COVID-19 vaccine cost? 

For most people the vaccine is free. Some insurance companies may charge an administrative fee, but that is rare.

If I don’t qualify for the vaccine in this phase, how long will it be before I get the shot? 

A long time. Based on current estimations, it will be at least March until the next group (K-12 staff and childcare providers) is able to sign up for appointments. If you’re younger than 50 and have no preexisting health conditions, you may have to wait until summer. This may change depending on how many doses are allocated by the federal government.

Will annual COVID-19 vaccines be needed? 

We don’t know yet. The first vaccines were administered during clinical trials in July and we only have data from the five months since then. Some optimistic studies have suggested immunity to the virus could last years, or even decades. More research is needed. It’s possible the COVID-19 vaccine might become a yearly event, like the flu shot. 

Have the vaccines been approved? 

Sort of. Two vaccines — from Pfizer and Moderna — have been granted Emergency Use Authorization in the United States. This classification allows a drug to be made available to the public, even if the evidence typically required for full approval isn’t available. EUAs are granted during an emergency when there is a strong public need for a certain medication, like Tamiflu, during the H1N1 pandemic.

The vaccines are still rigorously tested for efficacy and safety. Each vaccine must go through multiple stages of clinical trials with thousands of participants. In order for the Food and Drug Administration to grant a vaccine EUA, scientists must show the benefits of the drug outweigh any risks — participants in trials are closely followed for several weeks after their vaccination to track any adverse reactions. 

Will the vaccines be required? 

Employers could make the COVID-19 vaccine mandatory. 

In the same way the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission allows companies to mandate the flu vaccine, companies will likely be able to require employees to take the COVID-19 vaccine. There are some notable exceptions — those with certain medical conditions and religious beliefs may be granted an exception. 

Proof of vaccine might also be required to travel. Some major airlines, including United and JetBlue, plan on releasing an app that tracks the status of COVID-19 test results and, potentially in the future, vaccinations. 

How effective are the vaccines? 

Both Pfizer and Moderna have presented data that show their vaccine is about 95% effective. 

Researchers recruited tens of thousands of participants and divided them into two groups — those who received the vaccine and those who received a placebo. Participants are sent into the world and when some contract the virus, researchers record which group they came from. 

The efficacy is the difference in infection between the two groups. If 50 participants in the vaccine group became infected and 50 participants in the placebo group became infected, the vaccine’s efficacy would be 0%. Conversely, if no one in the vaccine group tested positive, the efficacy would be 100%. 

Will I still need to wear a mask after getting the vaccine? 

Yes. While the vaccines have been shown to protect you from the disease, it’s not yet clear whether it will prevent you from spreading the virus to others. While we wait for a large majority of the population to be vaccinated, coming in close contact with others without a mask can spread coronavirus through the community.




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