Concord, NH – New Hampshire Department of Health and Human Services (DHHS) is pleased to announce the expected arrival of the first allotment of COVID-19 vaccine on Monday, December 14, 2020 after the Pfizer/BioNTech vaccine was approved and given Emergency Use Authorization (EUA) by the Food and Drug Administration (FDA).
Two doses of vaccine, administered 21-days apart, demonstrated a vaccine efficacy rate of 95% during initial trials. Those vaccinated were shown to be maximally protected 1 – 2 weeks after receiving the second dose. Pfizer/BioNTech report no serious safety concerns to date among the more than 40,000 participants. The vaccine is approved for individuals 16 years of age and older.
“New Hampshire is ready to hit the ground running to do our part in delivering this game-changing vaccine,” Governor Chris Sununu stated. “It is an all-hands-on-deck effort for one of the most important undertakings in the history of our state. The State stands ready to get to work and distribute this life-saving vaccine to the citizens of our state.”
“This momentous occasion marks the beginning of the end of the pandemic,” DHHS Commissioner Lori Shibinette stated. “The FDA conducted a thorough approval process while ensuring an unprecedented timeline for vaccine production. The Pfizer vaccine has proven to be safe and very effective in protecting people from COVID-19. This is great news for the people of New Hampshire, who have endured so much for the past 10 months. The end is in sight for this worldwide pandemic.”
New Hampshire expects to receive 12,675 in the first allotment of vaccine for immediate distribution to at-risk health workers including front line clinical staff providing direct patient care. Subsequent weekly allotments of the vaccine will be distributed to all the populations and individuals included in Phase 1a, including at-risk health workers, residents of long-term care facilities, and first responders.
The timeline for widespread access to a COVID-19 vaccine is expected to be approximately 6-12 months. As vaccine production increases over time, updated information on when people can expect to receive the vaccine will be posted at NH.gov/COVID19.
New Hampshire has been preparing for the allocation and distribution of a safe and effective vaccine for several months. Data show that NH residents understand the importance of disease protection and prevention given that the State has one of the highest vaccination rates in the country for other commonly administered vaccines.
For more information on the State’s COVID-19 vaccination planning, please visit https://www.nh.gov/covid19/resources-guidance/vaccination-planning.htm.