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NH Residents 65+ Receiving COVID-19 Vaccine

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Phase 1B of New Hampshire's COVID-19 vaccination distribution plan begins today for residents 65 and older and those with underlying health conditions. (PordeeStudio/Adobe Stock)
Phase 1B of New Hampshire's COVID-19 vaccination distribution plan begins today for residents 65 and older and those with underlying health conditions. (PordeeStudio/Adobe Stock)
January 26, 2021

CONCORD, N.H. -- New Hampshire residents older than 65 and those with two or more underlying health conditions now are eligible to receive the COVID-19 vaccine, as Phase 1B appointments begin today.

It also includes caregivers of children with underlying conditions, residents and staff at facilities for people with developmental or intellectual disabilities and corrections workers and staff.

Scott Schuler, COVID-19 incident commander for the Seacoast and Strafford County Public Health Network, said nearly 200,000 people have registered to get the vaccine since Friday, the first day people in 1B were eligible to do so, and 60% have scheduled appointments.

"Right now we have about 17,500 doses coming into the state a week, and we have about 300,000 people who fit in the 1B category or phase for vaccine distribution," Schuler explained.

Schuler noted the state recommends registering for an appointment at vaccines.nh.gov, but if someone doesn't have access to a computer or is uncomfortable registering that way, they can call 211 for assistance.

Mindi Messmer, D-Rye, a former state representative who served on the Health, Human Services and Elderly Affairs Committee, said the vaccines are safe and effective, and they're going to be an important key to stopping the spread of COVID-19 in the U.S.

But she added Phase 1B will likely take until June or later.

"We need to continue those important measures to mitigation ourselves: washing your hands, wearing a mask, making sure that you're social distancing," Messmer outlined. "All these important things to keep that spread down while we're vaccinating people."

Groups such as AARP of New Hampshire are encouraging folks who may have questions about whether they should sign up for a vaccine and how the process works to check the vaccines.nh.gov website, or speak to their health-care providers.

Messmer emphasized it's critical to get information from trusted academic or scientific sources to avoid misinformation.

Lily Bohlke, Public News Service - NH