Pharmacy partnership to expand New Hampshire vaccine access
CONCORD, N.H. (AP) — New Hampshire has expanded the operating hours for most of its vaccination sites and starting next week will offer new locations through a partnership with Walgreens pharmacies.
Gov. Chris Sununu said seven of the state’s 19 vaccination clinics are now open seven days a week, and 11 of them remain open for 12 hours a day. Walgreens, meanwhile, will administer about 3,400 vaccines per week at 34 of its locations statewide.
Priority for those shots will be given to people in the current vaccination phase who have appointments for their first doses scheduled in April, Sununu said.
“We’re going to start at the back of the list, those that are furthest out, and start directly one-on-one calling them and rescheduling them to go get their vaccine at a much earlier date,” he said.
The state received about 21,500 doses of the vaccine this week and expects to get 5-10% more next week, said Elizabeth Daly, chief of the state Bureau of Infectious Disease Control.
In the current phase of the state’s vaccination plan, the vaccine is available to those age 65 and older, those with multiple medical conditions, corrections workers and those living and working in facilities for disabled residents. After many people were unable to schedule their second doses within the recommended time frame, the state on Sunday began scheduling the second shots when people arrive for their first.
Nearly 69,000 people have tested positive for the virus in New Hampshire, including 421 cases announced Tuesday. Three new deaths were announced, bringing the total to 1,109.
The seven-day rolling average of daily new cases in New Hampshire has decreased over the past two weeks, going from 701 new cases per day on Jan. 25 to 349 new cases per day on Monday.
If that downward trend continues, state officials plan to resume some of the contact tracing efforts that were discontinued when the numbers spiked, said Dr. Ben Chan, the state epidemiologist.
“As our numbers drop, our ability to investigate each and every case and try to contain the spread is improved,” he said. “We’re currently in that transition period.”