Keene’s COVID-19 vaccination site will move next week to an indoor facility on Maple Avenue, officials announced Thursday.
In addition, walk-in vaccinations — which have been available Mondays through Saturdays from 3 to 6 p.m. — will end this weekend.
The current vaccination site on Krif Road, which is one of 11 state-run sites in New Hampshire, is an outdoor clinic with a drive-in-style setup.
Starting Tuesday, vaccinations will shift to 62 Maple Ave., formerly the Peerless Insurance Agency building. Signs will direct people where to park and to the building’s entrance.
Tricia Zahn, director of the Greater Monadnock Public Health Network, which runs the site, said the indoor setup is ideal for the hot summer days ahead.
“It’s a lot easier to keep people warm than to keep them cool,” she said. “So moving indoors is very helpful for worker and volunteer safety, and also for vaccine safety. Since they are refrigerated, hot temperatures aren’t great for them.”
Anyone who has already made an appointment for Tuesday, June 1, or later will have their appointment at the new Maple Avenue site, according to a news release from Cheshire Medical Center, which is part of the Greater Monadnock Public Health Network.
Cheshire Medical recently bought the former Peerless property, with plans to establish a primary care residency program and house some clinical and administrative operations there.
At the new vaccination site, Zahn said, the setup will be similar to that of a blood drive.
People will be greeted at a registration desk to fill out their pre-vaccination questionnaire, just as they did before from their cars. Then, they’ll go to a vaccination station to be immunized and move to an observation area, where they’ll wait for 15 minutes to make sure they have no adverse reactions to the shot.
Staffing levels will be about what they are now, which is approximately 10 people from the National Guard and a handful of volunteers, according to Zahn.
Signs will be posted on Krif Road about the new location to alleviate confusion, Thursday’s news release from Cheshire Medical notes.
The Krif Road site opened in January, and had administered 68,638 doses of vaccine as of May 25, Zahn said.
The end of walk-in vaccinations Saturday comes two weeks after Gov. Chris Sununu announced that New Hampshire would open its state-run sites to walk-ins.
N.H. Department of Health and Human Services spokesman Jake Leon said in an email Friday morning that this is because the state-run vaccination sites will no longer be administering first doses.
“All first doses scheduled for after June 1st will be administered at a participating healthcare provider or pharmacy,” he said. “With first doses no longer being administered at the State sites, they can no longer accept walk ins.”
This will not affect the Maple Avenue site’s operations, as it will continue to be run by the Greater Monadnock Public Health Network.
Anyone 12 and older can schedule a vaccination appointment at vaccines.nh.gov or by calling 2-1-1. In addition to the Maple Avenue site, people can also schedule appointments at participating local pharmacies.
This story has been updated with additional details.