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N.H. Working To Build Registry As Part of COVID-19 Vaccine Plan

A  microscopic image of the first case of COVID-19 in America.
Hannah A Bullock; Azaibi Tamin / CDC
Transmission electron microscopic image of an isolate from the first U.S. case of COVID-19, formerly known as 2019-nCoV.

New Hampshire has filed its draft plan for COVID-19 vaccine distribution to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. States were required to send their draft vaccine plans last week.

Lori Shibinette, commissioner of the state Department of Health and Human Services, said the plan is still in draft form and is subject to change. State health officials are awaiting feedback on the plan from the CDC.

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“We submitted the plan on Friday and late Friday afternoon we received additional information about long-term care testing with vaccinations, so we would already need to amend that vaccination plan just to include some of the guidance. So we knew right from the get-go that we would be doing a series of amendments to that draft,” Shibinette said in a press conference Thursday.

Until then, New Hampshire has been working to build a vaccine registry, which would help the state track its vaccination rates.

New Hampshire is the only state in the nation without an immunization database, which may become a problem if one isn't ready once a COVID-19 vaccine becomes available as states are responsible for tracking federally distributed vaccines during a pandemic, Beth Daly, the chief of the Bureau of Infectious Disease Control, told WMUR.

New Hampshire received a $1.5 million federal grant to set up an “immunization information system” last year. Shibinette said the state is working to have one established by early December.

“If for some reason we have our first round of vaccines before the first week of December we have two or three other options that we will use until the registry is up," she said.

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