We're pleased to share information about guidelines and timing for the next phase of New Hampshire’s vaccination plan. Those eligible for Phase 1b (see Q&A below) can sign up starting on Friday, January 22, at 8 a.m., with vaccinations starting January 26.

Phase 1b online and 2-1-1 registration is first come, first served. Many of those eligible will be able to sign up via the NH COVID-19 Vaccinations site, but some of the specifics aren't available at this moment. Those under 65 with two or more underlying medical conditions will be registered through their PCP.  Please remember that these plans are fluid and dependent upon vaccine availability. As details develop on how to sign up, we will let you know. Visit the vaccines.nh.gov website for the most updated information, or call 2-1-1.

Attention DSPs and other home-based caregivers: Sign up now! If you received Long Term Care Support stipends last year, you are immediately eligible to get the vaccine under Phase 1a. Sign up today before Phase 1b starts with a rush on January 22. Contact your supervisor if you need full details to ensure your eligibility, and go to vaccines.nh.gov to register.

Timely: An online Vaccines Family Town Hall for those with disabilities and their families and caregivers is scheduled for Friday, January 22 from 12-1 p.m.

Important: If you are under 65, and trying to register under Phase 1b for the vaccine tomorrow due to medical reasons, you will not be able to do so on the website yet unless you are 65 or older. As of now, registration in this case needs to go through your primary care provider. Physicians are being asked to upload information directly to the state who will then contact those people about getting the vaccine. Here is a link to the DHHS Medical Verification form that doctors will use to submit to begin the registration process for those with 2 or more underlying conditions.

We are working with NH Public Health to set up one or more vaccination clinics for individuals and staff. We will let you know as soon as we can. The registration for those clinics will be different – again, details on this soon. Meanwhile, if you are Phase 1a or 1b eligible, go ahead and register at vaccines.nh.gov at the appropriate time.

We strongly encourage all who are eligible to take this safe and effective COVID-19 vaccine as soon as you can. We will all be better defended from the virus as a result.

Thank you so much for all you are doing to keep everyone safe and healthy.

Mary-Anne Wisell

Who is eligible for Phase 1b?
  • Anyone over 65 years old.
  • People aged 16+ who are medically vulnerable with two or more underlying conditions (see list below).
  • Caregivers of anyone under 16 years old who has two or more underlying medical conditions that put them at significantly higher risk.
  • Residents and staff of residential facilities for persons with intellectual and developmental individuals. This includes any individuals that MDS supports aged 16 or older who live in a staffed or enhanced family care residence, as well as their staff and caregivers. 
  • Any direct care worker who was deemed eligible to receive the LTCS Stipend now qualifies under Phase 1a and can register now. Additional guidelines are available from your supervisor.
  • Corrections officers and staff working in correctional facilities.
Who in the MDS community is eligible to sign up in this next Phase 1b?
  • Anyone aged 65+.
  • Individuals (age 16+) who live in a staffed or enhanced family care residence, and their staff and caregivers.
  • People with two underlying medical diagnoses per CDC guidelines (see below).
  • DSPs, home care staff who were eligible to receive the LTCS stipend. (Phase 1a)
Is there a possibility MDS will host a vaccine clinic?
We hope so. We are working to set up one or more clinics at MDS and will let you know as soon as we know. The registration for those clinics will be different – again, details on this soon. Meanwhile, if you are 1a or 1b eligible, please go ahead and register at vaccines.nh.gov at the appropriate time.
Do we still need to wear masks, socially distance, and use proper hygiene?
YES!! Even after full immunization kicks in (two weeks after completing your two vaccine doses), we will all still need to wear masks for a while – not everyone will be vaccinated at the same time, and the virus is still running rampant. Post-vaccination quarantine rules have changed somewhat, allowing those who have reached full immunization (2 weeks after 2 shots taken) will not need to quarantine if they are exposed. But they will still need to follow PPE and social distancing guidelines.
 
What are the guidelines for those medically eligible under Phase 1b?
Those with two or more underlying medical conditions cannot sign up using the vaccine website, unless you are 65+. There is a different registration process. Specifics on that are still being finalized, but as of now Primary Care Providers will pre-register these multiple-diagnosis patients. Click here to see the Medical Verification form that doctors will submit to begin registration. For MDS individuals in this situation (age 16 and older), MDS will most likely help facilitate sign-up and vaccination -- we will have more information on that for you in coming days. If you have questions, please be in touch with your Program Manager or Service Coordinator next week. People are being asked NOT to call their doctor's office about this right now.
List of Underlying Medical Conditions (adapted from CDC):
Phase 1b: Two or more conditions (Phase 3a: One condition)
  • Cancer
  • Chronic Kidney Disease
  • COPD (Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease)
  • Down Syndrome
  • Heart Conditions, such as heart failure, coronary artery disease, or cardiomyopathies
  • Immuno-compromised state (weakened immune system) from solid organ transplant
  • Obesity (body mass index of 30 kg/m or higher but < 40 kg/m
  • Severe Obesity (body > 40 kg/m)
  • Pregnancy
  • Sickle Cell Disease
  • Other High Risk Pulmonary Disease
  • Type 2 Diabetes Mellitus
Note: This is not an exhaustive list of conditions. Flexibility is provided for a health care provider to vaccinate any patient whose primary care provider assesses a significant risk for severe illness due to any multiple co-occurring co-morbidities.
 
How can I find out more about vaccinations and the phases?
Alert! A statewide Family Town Hall is scheduled for Friday, January 22 at noon which will provide more detailed information for staff, families and individuals – click here to access Zoom link.
Find up-to-date information at the official NH site, vaccines.nh.gov. You can also call 2-1-1 or 1-866-444-4211.
 
Vaccine Information Resources: