Getting the Vaccine

When and where can I get vaccinated?

As of May 13, 2021, anyone aged 12 and older can get vaccinated. The Pfizer-BioNTech COVID-19 vaccine is the only vaccine currently approved, however, for individuals aged 12 to 17.

  • In New Hampshire, appointments can be scheduled through the state’s registration system.

    Walk-in appointments at the state-run sites are also available starting Monday, May 24, from 3:00 to 6:00 pm. The state is planning to wrap up vaccine distribution at its fixed sites on May 30. The sites will remain open until the end of June, so people can receive their second shots.

    After the state-run sites close, vaccine distribution will move to pharmacies and doctors' office.
  • In Vermont, parents can register on their children’s behalf on the Vermont Department of Health website, or add them as a dependent on their own account.

Public health networks and school clinics are also supporting the vaccines in local communities.

There are many ways for you to schedule your 12- to 15-year-old to receive the Pfizer-BioNTech COVID-19 vaccine, which is the only vaccine currently approved for individuals between the ages of 12 to 17.

In New Hampshire, you can access vaccines at multiple sites:

  • State-run vaccine sites or those open to the public
  • Health care providers and hospitals
  • School clinics organized by New Hampshire regional public health clinics
  • Pharmacies such as CVS and Walgreens

If I own property in New Hampshire but my permanent residence is somewhere else, can I still get the vaccine in New Hampshire?

Yes. Anyone can register to receive the vaccine in New Hampshire, regardless of their residence. This includes students, second homeowners, and visitors.

How much will the vaccine cost?

The COVID-19 vaccines are being covered by the federal government and will be available at no cost to the patient.

How is the vaccination given?

COVID-19 mRNA vaccines (such as the Pfizer-BioNTech and Moderna vaccines) are given in two doses, injected into the muscles of the upper arm, similar to a flu shot (intramuscularly). COVID-19 adenovirus vector vaccines (such as the Janssen/Johnson & Johnson vaccine) are given as a single dose, also injected into the muscles of the upper arm.

Why do I have to receive two doses of the mRNA vaccine?

The first shot starts building immunity, but it is not enough for protection. The second shot given a few weeks later is needed to get the most protection from the vaccine.

There is too little data on the efficacy of a single dose of mRNA vaccine for the CDC to make recommendations at this time. A single dose viral vector vaccine is available and while effective, the protection offered against mild COVID-19 may be less than that provided by a two-dose mRNA vaccine.

When is the second mRNA vaccine dose given?

Pfizer-BioNTech's vaccine is a 2-dose intramuscular injection separated by 21 days.

Moderna's vaccine is a 2-dose intramuscular injection separated by 28 days (1 month).

Does the second dose of the mRNA vaccine have to be the same vaccine I was initially given?

Yes, ideally. The second dose should be from the same manufacturer as your first dose.

When you receive your first dose, you will also receive a COVID-19 vaccination record card. Bring your COVID-19 vaccination record card when you return for your second dose to ensure you are getting the corresponding vaccination. You should be sure to return to the same location where you received your first dose.

In exceptional situations in which the vaccine product given for the first dose cannot be determined or is no longer available, any available mRNA COVID-19 vaccine may be administered at a minimum interval of 28 days between doses to complete the mRNA COVID-19 vaccination series. In situations where the same mRNA vaccine product is temporarily unavailable, it is preferable to delay the 2nd dose (up to 6 weeks) to receive the same product than to receive a mixed series using a different product. If two doses of different mRNA COVID-19 vaccine products are administered in these situations (or inadvertently), no additional doses of either product are recommended at this time.

The safety and efficacy of the Janssen COVID-19 vaccine administered after an mRNA COVID-19 vaccine has not been established. However, in limited, exceptional situations where a patient received the first dose of an mRNA COVID-19 vaccine but is unable to complete the series with either the same or different mRNA COVID-19 vaccine (e.g., due to contraindication), a single dose of Janssen COVID-19 vaccine may be considered at a minimum interval of 28 days from the mRNA COVID-19 vaccine dose. See the Contraindications and Precautions section for additional information on the use of the Janssen COVID-19 vaccine and additional precautions in people with a contraindication to mRNA COVID-19 vaccines. Patients who receive the Janssen COVID-19 vaccine after a dose of an mRNA COVID-19 vaccine should be considered to have received a valid, single-dose Janssen vaccination—not a mixed vaccination series.

Can I choose which vaccine I receive?

Due to the current limited supply of vaccines, you will not be able to choose a specific vaccine manufacturer at this time.

I received the Janssen/Johnson & Johnson COVID-19 vaccine and have concerns about decreased efficacy. Can I get an mRNA vaccine?

At this time, there is no official recommendation to receive an mRNA vaccine as a follow-up to the Janssen/Johnson & Johnson vaccine. If you are 65 years or older or, if you have a weakened immune system (for example, due to cancer chemotherapy, immunosuppressive medications, transplants, or autoimmune diseases), you can speak with your doctor and discuss whether an mRNA booster makes sense for your unique situation.

If I've already had COVID-19, do I still need the vaccine?

The CDC states you should be vaccinated regardless of whether you have already had COVID-19. You can learn more about the benefits of getting the vaccine on the CDC website.

Do I have to wait to get other vaccines if I'm getting the COVID-19 vaccine?

No. The COVID-19 vaccine may now be administered with other vaccines regardless of timing. Current experience with administering COVID-19 vaccines simultaneously or within 14 days of another vaccines has demonstrated similar effectiveness and side effects.

I was recently diagnosed with COVID-19. When should I receive my COVID-19 vaccine?

Vaccination should be deferred for patients with suspected or confirmed COVID-19, regardless of whether they have symptoms until they have met the criteria to discontinue their isolation.

I was treated for COVID-19 with antibody therapy. When should I receive my COVID-19 vaccine?

The COVID-19 vaccine should not be given for at least 90 days after a person receives passive antibody therapy (such as convalescent plasma and/or monoclonal antibodies, such as bamlanivimab, bamlanivimab/etesevimab, and casirivimab/imdevimab) for the treatment of COVID-19, to avoid the possibility of the antibody therapy interfering with the vaccine.

How long after getting the COVID-19 vaccine should I wait before I donate blood?

For both the Pfizer-BioNTech or Moderna COVID-19 vaccine, you must wait a full 3-days before you can donate blood. The three-day waiting period starts the day after you receive the vaccine. For example, If you get the vaccine on a Monday, you would be eligible to donate blood on Friday (eligible on day 4).

When is the third mRNA vaccine dose given?

When people have moderately to severely compromised immune systems and have had the initial two doses (Moderna or Pfizer). For more information, please refer to the Third Dose of mRNA COVID-19 Vaccines web page.

Where can I get more information?

We understand that there are many questions and we encourage you to consult the following websites for additional information:

Is information about the vaccine available in languages other than English?

The FDA website includes Pfizer-BioNTech fact sheets in several languages other than English.