New Hampshire is currently in Phase 1 of vaccine distribution 

New Hampshire residents who are in the categories below are now able to register and schedule appointments with the State public vaccination clinics:

  • People who are 65 and older
  • Medically vulnerable individuals at significantly higher risk, including family caregivers for those under 16
  • Staff and residents at residential facilities for persons with disabilities
  • Corrections officers and staff working in correctional facilities

Registering to Get the Vaccine

Elliot Health System and Southern New Hampshire Health, founding members of SolutionHealth, have been working closely with state officials to develop our plan for vaccine dissemination.  Here’s what you need to know:

  • THOSE AGE 65 AND OLDER: You can schedule your appointment online at https://sonh-community.force.com/providers/s/ or by calling 2-1-1.  Please do NOT call your primary care provider’s office.
  • MEDICALLY VULNERABLE AT SIGNIFICANT RISK & FAMILY CAREGIVERS FOR MEDICALLY VULNERABLE UNDER AGE 16: Once your healthcare provider submits your paperwork to NH DHHS confirming your eligibility, you will receive an email from no-reply@mail.vams.cdc.gov inviting you to schedule an appointment. Please do NOT call your primary care provider’s office to check and see if you are eligible.  Doing so puts an added burden on the frontline staff in our practices who are caring for the day-to-day needs of other patients.
  • Corrections facilities and Intellectual and Developmental Disability facilities will be contacted directly by the state’s Public Health Network to schedule COVID-19 vaccine appointments.

For more information about registering for vaccination during phase 1B, click here.

If you are a Massachusetts resident, please visit https://www.mass.gov/covid-19-vaccine for information on obtaining the vaccine in your state.

Preparing for Phase 2 of Vaccine Program

State officials and other stakeholders are finalizing details of Phase 2, which is expected to begin by the end of March. Phase 2 will include the launch of a new state-run registration website to replace the federal VAMS website that was used during Phase 1. Phase 2A will be open to staff working in K-12 schools; childcare, Head Start, and Early Head Start programs; and youth recreation camps. Phase 2B will be open to NH residents between age 50 and 64. The state will make a public announcement before the new registration website goes live and registration for 2A is open.

NH Public Vaccination Sites

Vaccinations are currently happening in Nashua (Nashua High School South, 36 Riverside Dr) and Hooksett (SNHU, 73 Eastside Dr). For a full list of NH vaccination sites, click here.

This is a very fluid situation. We appreciate your patience as we work through this process with the State.

Frequently Asked Questions: COVID-19 Vaccine

It is strongly recommended that you get vaccinated. The vaccine will help protect you from getting COVID-19. If you still get infected after you get vaccinated, the vaccine may prevent serious illness. By getting vaccinated, you can also help protect people around you. 

There may be side effects, but they should go away within a few days. Possible side effects include a sore arm, headache, fever, or body aches. This does not mean you have COVID-19. Side effects are signs that the vaccine is working to build immunity. If they don’t go away in a week, or you have more serious symptoms, call your doctor. 

Because vaccines help develop immunity by imitating an infection (immune response), some people experience symptoms of a real infection without being infected. In clinical trials, the COVID-19 vaccines were found to cause side effects like fatigue, chills, fever, muscle and joint pain, and headache (in addition to injection site pain and swelling) in some people. These side effects are temporary and are a normal part of our bodies building immunity against the SARS-CoV-2 virus. 

No. None of the COVID-19 vaccines currently authorized for use or in development in the United States use the live virus that causes COVID-19. However, it typically takes a few weeks for the body to build immunity after vaccination. That means it’s possible you could be infected with the virus that causes COVID-19 just before or just after vaccination and get sick. 

Yes. The CDC recommends that you get vaccinated even if you have already had COVID-19, because you can catch it more than once. While you may have some short-term antibody protection after recovering from COVID-19, we don’t know how long this protection will last. 

No. While you may have some short-term antibody protection after recovering from COVID-19, we don’t know how long this protection lasts. Vaccination is the best protection, and it is safe. People who get COVID-19 can have serious illnesses, and some have debilitating symptoms that persist for months.

Yes. COVID-19 vaccination is especially important for people with underlying health problems like heart disease, lung disease, diabetes, and obesity. People with these conditions are more likely to get very sick from COVID-19.

In most cases, yes. The CDC recommends that people with a history of allergic reactions not related to vaccines or injectable medications – such as food, pet, venom, environmental, or latex allergies – get vaccinated. People with a history of allergies to oral medications or a family history of severe allergic reactions can also get vaccinated. 

People who have had an allergic reaction to other types of vaccines should ask their primary care provider if they can get a COVID-19 vaccine. 

People who are allergic to any vaccine ingredient, including PEG or polysorbate, should not get an mRNA COVID-19 vaccine. Ingredient lists are available for both the Pfizer and Moderna vaccines. 

Yes. The CDC advises that people with autoimmune conditions may receive an mRNA COVID-19 vaccine. However, please be aware that no data are currently available on the safety of mRNA vaccines for this population, though they were eligible for enrollment in clinical trials. 

Yes. Current data suggest that people with HIV and those with weakened immune systems due to other illnesses or medication might be at increased risk for severe COVID-19 and should be vaccinated when they are eligible. However, data about the safety of mRNA vaccines for this population are limited at this time.

Additionally, people with weakened immune systems may have a reduced immune response to the COVID-19 vaccine and will need to continue practicing safety precautions. 

Yes. Pregnant people with COVID-19 have an increased risk for severe illness compared to non-pregnant people of reproductive age. Additionally, pregnant people with COVID-19 might be at increased risk of adverse pregnancy outcomes like preterm birth.

Based on how mRNA vaccines work, experts believe they are unlikely to pose a unique risk for pregnant people. However, more research must be completed to know the actual risks of mRNA vaccines to pregnant people and the fetus. 

Pregnant people with an additional underlying condition may qualify for vaccination during phase 1B in the state of New Hampshire. You can check which phase you fall into here: https://www.vaccines.nh.gov. 

As of February 27, 2021, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has given emergency use authorization (EUA) to the COVID-19 vaccines developed by Pfizer-BioNTech, Moderna and Janssen/Johnson & Johnson.

Other vaccinations have been approved for use in other countries and there are dozens of other vaccines currently in various stages of development and testing.

Both the Pfizer and Moderna vaccines are mRNA vaccines that are administered in two doses. The Janssen/Johnson & Johnson vaccine is a viral vector vaccine that is administered in one dose.

While the Pfizer vaccine is approved for use in people 16 years of age and older, the Moderna and Janssen/Johnson & Johnson vaccines are approved for people 18 years of age and older.

Clinical trials found that all three vaccines have similar rates of efficacy and have similar side effect profiles.

Vaccines work by tricking our bodies into thinking we have been infected by a virus so our infection-fighting blood cells will produce protective antibodies against the virus without us actually becoming infected.

The Janssen/Johnson & Johnson vaccine is a viral vector vaccine. It uses a modified virus to deliver a gene that instructs our cells to make a protein that triggers the production of antibodies and an immune response. The virus used in the Janssen/Johnson & Johnson vaccine cannot cause illness in humans.

The Pfizer and Moderna vaccines are mRNA vaccines. Instead of using a weakened or inactivated virus to trigger an immune response, mRNA vaccines teach our cells how to make a protein that prompts antibody production and an immune response. The first dose of the vaccine helps our immune system recognize the virus, and the second shot strengthens the immune response. mRNA vaccines do not affect or interact with our DNA in any way.

No. It is important for everyone to continue doing everything in their power, including wearing a mask and social distancing, to help stop this pandemic while we continue vaccinating community members and learning more about how the COVID-19 vaccines work in real-world conditions.

The percentage of people who need to be vaccinated to achieve herd immunity to COVID-19 is currently unknown. Herd immunity occurs when enough people have protection from a virus or bacteria that it is unlikely to spread and cause infection. When herd immunity is achieved, everyone within the community is protected even if some individuals don’t have protection themselves. Herd immunity is why highly contagious diseases like measles, mumps, and polio, which were once very common, are now rare in the United States.   

Because all COVID-19 vaccines are new, it will take more time and more people getting vaccinated to learn about very rare or possible long-term side effects. The good news is, at least 8 weeks’ worth of safety data were gathered in the clinical trials for all the authorized vaccines, and it’s unusual for vaccine side effects to appear more than 8 weeks after vaccination. 

All COVID-19 vaccines were tested in clinical trials involving tens of thousands of people to make sure they meet safety standards and protect adults of different ages, races, and ethnicities. There were no serious safety concerns. CDC and the FDA will keep monitoring the vaccines to look for safety issues after they are authorized and in use. 

All vaccine recipients have the opportunity to enroll in v-safe. This is a smartphone tool you can use to tell CDC if you have any side effects after getting a COVID-19 vaccine. If you report serious side effects, someone from CDC will call to follow up. You will be provided with enrollment instructions when you receive your first shot. 

Under typical circumstances, vaccines undergo many years of laboratory testing, clinical trials, and review before being approved for use by the Food and Drug Administration (FDA). However, due to the urgency and severity of the COVID-19 pandemic, the currently available vaccines were developed in less than a year and received Emergency Use Authorization (EUA) from the FDA. EUA allows vaccines to bypass the multi-year process and be used during public health emergencies like the COVID-19 pandemic.

Though these vaccines were developed and approved on an accelerated timeline, they were still rigorously tested for safety and efficacy. The FDA does not approve vaccines that are not proven safe and effective during clinical trials.

More information about how vaccines are developed and available by EUA can be found here, here, and here.

Once your healthcare provider submits your paperwork to NH DHHS, you will receive an email from no-reply@mail.vams.cdc.gov.  This typically takes a day or two. If your healthcare provider does not have your email address on file, NH DHHS will contact you by phone. This will take a few more days than being contacted by email.

If you’re expecting an email from no-reply@mail.vams.cdc.gov, remember to check your spam and/or junk email folder to make sure it didn’t end up there.

Your body’s normal, healthy response to the COVID-19 vaccine may involve enlargement of the lymph nodes, particularly in the underarm on the side of the injection. This may be picked up on your screening mammogram and additional testing may be required. To avoid unnecessary stress, Dr. Marina Feldman, a radiologist who specializes in breast imaging and Director of Breast Imaging at the Elliot Breast Health Center, suggests if you are due for a screening mammogram, you should schedule the mammogram prior to vaccination or six weeks after your vaccination is complete. Annual screening mammograms are your best defense against breast cancer and should not be skipped. However, if you need to reschedule your screening mammogram due to your vaccination timeline, call 603.608.3067 (Manchester & Londonderry) or 603.577.2665 (Nashua).

Yes. According to Dr. Marina Feldman of the Elliot Breast Health Center, you should get the vaccination in the arm opposite your surgical side. If both sides were involved, the injection can be administered in your buttocks or thigh.

To receive more information regarding vaccine distribution, call 2-1-1 or visit nh.gov/covid19.

You can also sign up below to receive updates from SolutionHealth about COVID-19. 

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