Vaccine

The Keene SwampBats will host a COVID-19 vaccine clinic before the team’s home opener tonight, the first of a series of pop-up clinics being offered by the Greater Monadnock Public Health Network, the agency announced this morning.

The team will host a second pop-up clinic before its game Saturday evening, according to a news release from the public health network. The clinics start when gates open at 5 p.m. each day, and appointments are not required for ticketed fans, who can get a coronavirus shot for free.

“We’re thrilled to partner with the SwampBats on our first pop-up vaccination clinic in Keene,” Tricia Zahn, the network’s director, said in a prepared statement. “We know vaccines are a personal choice, and we also welcome the opportunity to help answer people’s questions while we are there. This is a great opportunity to celebrate getting closer to normal by cheering on the hometown favorites and getting a vaccine at the same time.”

Anyone who gets vaccinated at one of these pop-up clinics will get one complimentary ticket to a future home SwampBats game during the 2021 season, excluding July 3, according to the release. Tonight, those who get the vaccine will also receive a voucher redeemable on Saturday for a free hot dog and soft drink, courtesy of Consolidated Communications.

“As an organization, we support the Greater Monadnock Public Health Network and their mission,” Keene SwampBats President Kevin Watterson said in a statement. “Teaming up to offer community members who want a vaccine a seamless path to receiving it and taking in a ball game at the same time is a home run. Plus, we’re throwing in a few other goodies to show our appreciation.”

In addition to SwampBats games this weekend, the public health network will host other pop-up vaccine clinics in the coming days in Keene:

Saturday, June 5, from 1 to 3 p.m. on the corner of Court and Winter streets (the lawn of the former county courthouse) in Keene

Monday, June 7, and Tuesday, June 8, from 10 a.m. to noon and 3 to 6 p.m. in Heberton Hall at the Keene Public Library, 60 Winter St.

Both the one-dose Johnson & Johnson vaccine and the two-dose Pfizer-BioNTech shot will be available at these clinics, according to the news release. At these events, children ages 12 to 17 will get priority for the Pfizer-BioNTech vaccine, which has U.S. Food & Drug Administration emergency use authorization for their age group. Children must be accompanied by a parent or guardian to be vaccinated.

Any organizations interested in hosting a pop-up vaccination clinic can contact Zahn at tzahn@cheshire-med.com. The public health network will provide all the vaccines, supplies and staff for these events, according to the release.

Along with these pop-up vaccine clinics, COVID-19 shots are also available by appointment by visiting vaccines.nh.gov. While registering online, people can select from a list of locations and time options, including the public health network-run site at 62 Maple Ave. in Keene, and numerous area pharmacies. Anyone without Internet access can call 2-1-1 or 603-271-5980 to register for a vaccine.

Nearly 50 percent of New Hampshire’s population — or about 672,000 — has been fully vaccinated, according to state statistics.

President Joe Biden is pushing for 70 percent of the U.S. population to get at least one shot by July 4.

Jack Rooney can be reached at 352-1234, extension 1404, or jrooney@keenesentinel.com. Follow him on Twitter @RooneyReports.