What You Need To Know About Coronavirus, Vaccines and How to Stay Safe in N.H.
As NHPR continues to track the impacts of the COVID-19 pandemic in New Hampshire, we welcome your questions, and your input guides our reporting.
Here, we answer some common questions, and share other important information about the coronavirus, vaccines and how to stay safe.
How widespread is the coronavirus in New Hampshire?
The New Hampshire Department of Health and Human Services releases case numbers, hospitalizations and other information daily on its COVID-19 summary dashboard.
NHPR has been compiling data from the state’s Department of Health and Human Services into a series of interactive graphics, which we update as new information becomes available. Click here to see them.
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention publishes information on the spread of COVID-19 variants on its COVID Data Tracker, which you can view here.
How many N.H. residents have been vaccinated against COVID-19?
The state provides daily updates on the number of shots administered relative to the number of people eligible to be vaccinated at a given time.
You can also view information on vaccination rates in New Hampshire on NHPR’s coronavirus tracker.
How can I register and schedule a coronavirus vaccine?
If you are aged 12 or older and haven’t yet received a COVID-19 vaccine, you can register through the state’s vaccine information website at www.vaccines.nh.gov. Anyone under 18 needs to have consent from a parent or guardian to be vaccinated.
You can also contact your primary care provider or Regional Public Health Network for more information and assistance on registering for a vaccine.
Those without a computer or internet access can call 2-1-1 to register for a vaccine through the New Hampshire Department of Health and Human Services COVID-19 hotline.
Some vaccination sites, including those at some hospitals, Walmart and Sam’s Club pharmacies, may also offer walk-in appointments.
What do we know about the safety of the vaccine?
The Pfizer-BioNTech, Moderna and Johnson & Johnson (Janssen) COVID-19 vaccines have all been given emergency use authorization by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration, which says the “known and potential benefits outweigh the known and potential risks” of these vaccines.
Serious reactions are rare, but there are some minor side effects like redness at the injection site, fatigue and headaches. People getting vaccinated generally wait at the site for 15 minutes or so to make sure there are no serious side effects. Learn more about potential side effects of COVID-19 vaccines from the CDC here.
How much can I change my behavior once I’m fully vaccinated?
Once you are fully vaccinated, the CDC says it is safe to resume normal activities without a mask. Federal, state, local, tribal or territorial laws, rules, and regulations, including local business and workplace guidance, may continue to require masks, however, and should still be observed. You are also still required to wear a mask on trains, planes, buses and all other public transportation.
If you are fully vaccinated but have children in your family who unvaccinated, doctors say that engaging in risk assessment is an important way of keeping your family safe. For example, attending an outdoor gathering with a small group of potentially unvaccinated people may be safer than a large indoor one.
The CDC says that all unvaccinated people aged 2 and older should still wear masks in public places or when around people from outside their household.
What should I do if I think I have symptoms of COVID-19?
If you think you might have COVID-19, stay home and contact a health care provider.
For information on where to get a coronavirus test in New Hampshire, visit the state’s COVID-19 response page. You can also contact your primary care provider for assistance in getting a COVID-19 test.
Vaccine breakthrough cases - cases in which someone who is fully vaccinated becomes sick - while extremely rare, are expected, as no vaccine is 100% effective at preventing illness. You can learn more about COVID-19 breakthrough cases here.
If you are exposed to COVID-19 and are fully vaccinated, you do not need to isolate or get tested unless you have symptoms, with the exception of people who live in group settings.
Where can I find facts about COVID-19 and how it spreads?
The CDC has a FAQ page with information on the basics about coronavirus, how it spreads, how to prevent illness and much more. Click here to view it.
Where can I go for help or more information?
- The state of New Hampshire’s Department of Health and Human Services has a hotline for COVID-19 exposure and health advice. Dial 211.
- https://www.211nh.org/search/ has a range of resources, from housing to legal help
- You can also get in contact with any mental health resources in the state through the NAMI Hotline by calling 1-800-242-6264.
What are your questions about coronavirus in New Hampshire? Let us know in the form below. You can also email us at firstname.lastname@example.org or leave a voicemail at 603-513-7790.