What You Need To Know About Coronavirus, Vaccines and How to Stay Safe in N.H.
As NHPR continues to track the impact 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?
Updated: September 9, 2021
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention data show Coos County with high rates of community transmission, and all other counties, except for Sullivan, with substantial rates of transmission. Sullivan County is the only county in the state with low rates.
You can find updated information from the CDC on the level of coronavirus transmission in counties across the country here.
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 New Hampshire Department of Health and Human Services releases case numbers, hospitalizations and other information daily on its COVID-19 summary dashboard.
NHPR Community Conversations: COVID And The Classroom (Aug. 24, 2021)
How many N.H. residents have been vaccinated against COVID-19?
757,722 New Hampshire residents (54.1% of the population) have been fully vaccinated as of mid-August, according to the state’s data.
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 find a COVID-19 vaccine near you 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 getting a vaccine.
Those without a computer or internet access can call the New Hampshire Department of Health and Human Services COVID-19 hotline at 2-1-1 for information on how to get a COVID-19 vaccine.
Will I need a booster shot?
According to a plan announced on August 18, all U.S. adults who received the Pfizer or Moderna COVID-19 vaccine will be eligible for a booster shot eight months after they received their second dose. Booster shots, like other COVID-19 vaccines, will be free. Learn more about COVID-19 vaccine booster shots here.
A third dose is not the same as a booster dose. A booster shot is given to people when the immune response to the initial vaccine series is likely to have waned over time. Some immunocompromised people in New Hampshire are now receiving third doses of the vaccine.
What do we know about the safety of the vaccine?
The Pfizer-BioNTech (Comirnaty) COVID-19 vaccine is the first to be granted full approval by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration. The Moderna and Johnson & Johnson (Janssen) COVID-19 vaccines have been given emergency use authorization by the FDA, 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?
With the recent surge in COVID cases and rise of the delta variant, the CDC recommends that fully vaccinated people wear a mask in public indoor settings in areas of substantial or high transmission. Federal, state, local, tribal or territorial laws, rules, and regulations, including local business and workplace guidance, may continue to require masks and should 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 people in your family, including children who are 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.
If I’m vaccinated, should I be worried about the delta variant? What about breakthrough cases?
The delta variant of COVID-19 is about twice as transmissible as the original viruses. While CDC data shows that vaccinated people with breakthrough infections can spread the delta variant, COVID-19 vaccines are highly effective and breakthrough cases are rare. Vaccinated people are significantly less likely to get sick or end up in the hospital with COVID-19 than unvaccinated people.
The first breakthrough case was identified in New Hampshire on Jan. 20, 2021. After a request from NHPR, the New Hampshire Department of Health and Human Services reported that as of Wednesday, Sept. 1, 1,437 breakthrough cases had been identified in the state, 3% of all cases. This includes 29 confirmed hospitalizations as a result of breakthrough cases, and 19 deaths (4.9% of all COVID-related deaths). Hospital staff say many of those hospitalized with breakthrough cases had other underlying health conditions that made them more at risk for COVID-19.
You can learn more about COVID-19 breakthrough cases here.
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.
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.