Everything you need to know about Friday’s vaccine signups 

Monitor staff
Published: 1/20/2021 5:04:42 PM

For the first time in New Hampshire, vaccines will be made available to a large segment of the general public next week. Appointment sign-ups begin this Friday.

Anticipation and anxiety have surrounded much of the dialogue around the vaccine.

An official from Concord Hospital said they received about 2400 incoming calls on a single day —  about a thousand more than usual — mostly due to questions about the vaccine. Health officials have assured residents that despite high demand, everyone will get through and get an appointment

Here’s everything you need to know about the process:

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, which will open on Friday at 8 a.m, 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. Gov. Chris Sununu said an extremely high call volume is anticipated and wait times may be long, though every call will eventually be answered by a live person.

After you register on the website, you will receive an email that 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 around Feb. 4, when the State plans on transitioning from a federal registration system to a state registration system.

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

Who can sign up on Friday?

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 of the following medical conditions:

■Cancer

■Chronic kidney disease

■COPD and other high-risk pulmonary disease

■Down Syndrome

■Heart Conditions, such as heart failure, coronary

artery disease, or cardiomyopathies

■Immunocompromised states

■Obesity (body mass index of 30 kg/m or higher)

■ Pregnancy

■Sickle cell disease

■Type 2 Diabetes Mellitus

When will I actually get my shot?

Appointment slots will start 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.

When vaccine supply is limited, the Division of Public Health Services recommends that providers prioritize within the eligible group. For example, vaccinating those who are 75 years of age and older before those aged 65-74 or vaccinating those with more medical conditions before those with fewer.

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 citizen 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.

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.

How much does the COVID-19 vaccine cost?

Vaccination providers may charge patients an administration fee, though most public and private insurance companies will cover the cost. If you do not have insurance, the vaccine will be provided for free, according to the N.H Department of Health and Human Services.




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