By ARNIE ALPERT, InDepthNH.org
LOUDON – Beginning at 8 a.m. Saturday, a steady stream of drivers entered the New Hampshire Motor Speedway destined not for the grandstands but for their chance to get vaccinated against COVID-19.
Gov. Chris Sununu toured the state’s first mass vaccination site in Loudon Saturday where 12,000 Granite Staters are expected to receive the Johnson and Johnson vaccine between Saturday, March 6 and Monday, March 8. Everyone must have an appointment, officials said.
Health care workers, staff from the NH Department of Transportation, and volunteers checked everyone in, asked what are now routine screening questions, and directed the cars into several lines where vaccines would be administered.
“Everyone is committed to making sure that these 12,00 individuals are going to be able to move up, that they get the vaccine, and as you can see, there’s a lot of people smiling as they drive away,” Sununu said at a morning news conference.
“The folks that are getting it are pretty shocked that they got that call. It’s one shot and done,” Sununu said.
Sununu said the opportunity to vaccinate nearly 12,000 Granite Staters at one site over the course of a single weekend is an incredible opportunity for New Hampshire.
“Hats off to the hundreds of state employees and volunteers who made this possible. We’re getting doses into arms as quickly as we receive them, and the fact that we’re so far ahead of schedule gives us a lot of confidence that it’s going to be a great summer here in the Granite State.”