New questions about the state’s COVID-19 vaccination plans are cropping up almost as quickly as new details are released.
On the heels of Tuesday’s press conference, during which the state laid out the broad strokes of the distribution schedule, several logistical questions have popped up: When can I get my COVID-19 vaccination? Where can I sign up to get my vaccine?
Unless you’re in the first group of vaccine recipients, there’s no easy answer.
New Hampshire is in the midst of vaccinating its first phase of recipients which includes frontline workers, healthcare providers, and staff, and residents at long-term care facilities. As of last week, more than 21,000 shots had been administered, about a fifth of the estimated amount of people in phase 1A.
At Tuesday’s press conference, health officials announced they expect to vaccinate the next group of people, 1B, between January and March. This group includes those 75 or older, those with severe medical vulnerabilities, staff in correctional facilities, and residents and staff at facilities that serve those with intellectual and developmental disabilities. The group is about twice as large as 1A.
Gov. Chris Sununu said the demographics in each stage were determined by who was in most need of the vaccine.
“This is all about making sure the health care system doesn’t get overrun, making sure we have room in the hospitals, and making sure the most vulnerable are protected,” he said.
The rest of the stages, listed below, will receive their vaccines well into the spring and summer. Until then, Gov. Chris Sununu pleaded with the public to continue abiding by public health guidance.
“You wake up every morning and just have a little metric for yourself,” he said. “If the day ends in a ‘y’, make sure you social distance, wear your mask, and do everything you can to stay safe. Now is absolutely the wrong time to loosen up.”
The state hasn’t announced any mechanism for signing up for a vaccine appointment but recommended people check the DHHS COVID-19 page and stay in touch with their primary care providers to stay up to date on announcements about distribution. Those who are receiving healthcare through the Department of Veterans Affairs will be notified when they are eligible for the VA’s supply of the vaccine.
Here is the state schedule for when vaccines are expected to be given to each group. This timeline may change as the number of doses allocated to New Hampshire by the federal government changes:
Throughout January: Phase 1A (about 110,000 people) High-risk health workers; first responders; residents of long-term care facilities.
January through March: Phase 1B (about 225,000 people) People over 75; the medically vulnerable at significant risk (defined here), including caregivers for those under 16 at risk; staff and residents of facilities for the disabled; corrections officers and staff.
March through May: Phase 2A (about 175,000 people) Staff and teachers at K-12 schools and childcare facilities; people aged 65 through 74.
March through May: Phase 2B (about 200,000 people) People aged 50 to 64.
May and beyond: Phase 3A (about 325,000 people) The medically vulnerable at moderate risk under 50 years old.
May and beyond: Phase 3B (about 325,000 people) Everybody not already vaccinated.
All of New Hampshire’s COVID-19 information can be seen online at nh.gov/COVID19. More information about the vaccine is available on the Health page.