|Update 5: COVID-19 Vaccine Information|
|February 5, 2021|
|Dear patients and families,|
As the COVID-19 vaccination roll-out continues in New Hampshire and Vermont, we remain encouraged by the number of people who have been able to receive a vaccine as part of Phase 1B.
We understand the process has been sometimes frustrating for many and encourage you to be patient, especially as the states deal with a very limited supply of vaccine. At this time, New Hampshire remains in Phase 1B of its COVID-19 vaccination roll-out plan. Those eligible to be vaccinated include residents of New Hampshire 65 and older, and residents of New Hampshire under age 65 who are medically vulnerable as defined in New Hampshire’s vaccination plan.
If you are a patient of Dartmouth-Hitchcock and a Vermont resident, please review the State of Vermont’s COVID-19 vaccination plan for information on when you will be eligible for vaccination in Vermont.
|Scheduling second doses of vaccines|
|We are aware that the State of New Hampshire has experienced technical issues with the scheduling system (VAMS) and that some patients in Phase 1B of the vaccine roll-out have experienced difficulties in scheduling their second doses. Improvements to the scheduling process have been announced today.|
If you have already received your first dose of vaccine
You will need to schedule the appointment for your second dose through vams.cdc.gov, and use the same username and password used to schedule the first dose. The appointments will only be visible online to people eligible for the second dose.
If you receive your first dose of vaccine on Sunday, February 7 or later
When you get your first vaccine, you will get an appointment card with a day and time for your second vaccine dose. That information will all be entered automatically into the scheduling system.
|Eligibility documentation for New Hampshire residents|
|Medically vulnerable population ages 16-64|
Please know that we are working around the clock to facilitate vaccination for our most vulnerable patients who are eligible for vaccination.
Our doctors and teams are continuing to submit eligibility documentation to the State of New Hampshire daily for our NH patients in Phase 1B, which includes people ages 16-64 with significant medical conditions that leave them more vulnerable to serious illness from COVID-19. To be eligible for Phase 1B you need to have two or more of these underlying conditions (PDF, adapted from the CDC).
As a reminder, Dartmouth-Hitchcock Health (D-HH) is working to identify patients who are eligible for Phase1B vaccination, and for those patients:D-HH will automatically submit all required documentation to the State to confirm patient eligibility. Please note that the information sent to the state does not include the nature of your health conditions.
After we submit the necessary information to the state, we will send you an update in your myD-H account or via postal mail from D-HH.
The State will send you an email with a link to schedule your vaccine, or you will receive a phone call if you do not have an email on file. The invitation will come to your email from email@example.com. Please check your spam and junk folders to make sure it didn’t get accidentally filtered.It may take 5 days for the State to contact you after D-HH informs the state that you are eligible for a vaccine.
|One-shot vaccine is on its way|
|There is very promising news about a third vaccine that is expected to be authorized by the FDA for emergency use and roll-out across the country soon. This one-dose vaccine, produced by Johnson & Johnson’s vaccine division, Janssen Pharmaceuticals, has shown to be safe and effective in preventing moderate to severe COVID infection in a multi-country study.|
This means that by taking the vaccine, you would be less likely to be hospitalized and less likely to suffer moderate to severe illness or death due to COVID-19. Plus, this vaccine is a single shot which will eliminate the need for scheduling a second dose. If this vaccine does receive emergency use authorization, it is likely that it will be available for use in the United States in early March.
|Preventative measures remain important even after you get the vaccine|
|You will still need to wear a mask, wash your hands and practice physical distancing even after you get the COVID-19 vaccine. These preventive measures will stay in place until more people are vaccinated and health experts have a better idea of how long the vaccine’s immunity lasts. Even though the vaccines are very effective, they are not 100% effective at preventing illness from COVID-19, which is why people still must use caution even after they are vaccinated.|
|If you need help|
|If you have questions about scheduling your vaccination please call 2-1-1.|
Here are a few links to resources provided by the New Hampshire Department of Health and Human Services.Step-by-Step Instructions Following the CDC VAMS Invite (PDF)FAQ about the Phase 1b Registration Process
Thank you for your patience and understanding as we get through this challenging time.
We will continue to update you as we learn new information as well as post updates on our website.
New Hampshire vaccine roll out planNew Hampshire is administering the vaccination in six different phases (PDF).
Vermont vaccine roll out planVermont is administering the vaccine in multiple phases based on age groups.
If you haven’t already, we encourage you to sign up for myD-H, our patient portal, so that you can receive timely notifications from your Dartmouth-Hitchcock Health provider.
Together, we will end this pandemic for good.Stay Strong. Masks On.
|We are recommending the COVID-19 vaccine and hope that you will choose to have it when it becomes available to you. As this is a new vaccine, we understand that you have many questions. To put your mind at ease, our medical experts weigh in to dispel some myths about the vaccine that you may have come across. We will share more myths in our next email.|
Myth: There is no point in getting the COVID-19 vaccine because we don’t know how long the vaccine provides immunity.
Fact: You may need to get a booster, or boosters, for the COVID-19 vaccine as different strains of the virus appear. That doesn’t mean, though, that you shouldn’t get the vaccine as soon as it is available to you. As more time passes, and more people get vaccinated, health experts will begin to have a better idea of how long the immunity will last. Some recent studies have suggested that it should last for several months.
Myth: I have already had COVID-19 so that means I don’t need to get vaccinated.
Fact: Even if you had COVID-19, you will still benefit from getting vaccinated, especially since there is evidence that people who had COVID-19 can get it again. Early evidence suggests that natural immunity from COVID-19 can last anywhere from 4-8 months, but more research is needed to have a more accurate timeframe. In addition, some scientists believe that the vaccine offers better protection from COVID-19 than natural infection.