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Officials update vaccine process

CONCORD, N.H. (AP) – The New Hampshire Department of Health and Human Services has updated its instructions to health care providers about registering medically vulnerable patients for the coronavirus vaccine.

Vaccination under “Phase 1b” begins Jan. 26, with registration starting Friday, for residents age 65 and older, those with certain medical conditions, residents and staff of facilities for people with developmental disabilities, corrections officers and health care workers not previously vaccinated.

Residents age 65 and older should register to be vaccinated at one of the state’s fixed site clinics by visiting https://vaccines.nh.gov or by calling 2-1-1. There are different processes for those with medical conditions, according to a health alert message issued Sunday.

Providers who plan to vaccinate their own patients will register and schedule eligible patients and report data to the state’s immunization information system. Those that do not have access to the vaccine or plan to refer patients to fixed sites will enter patient information into the state’s vaccine management system, which will generate an email invitation to the patient to schedule an appointment. For providers who don’t have access to the system or for patients that do not have email, the provider will pass along information to the state about eligible patients, and the state will call them to schedule appointments.

When vaccine supply is limited, the Division of Public Health Services recommends that providers prioritize within the eligible group. For example, vaccinating those who are 75 years of age and older before those aged 65-74 or vaccinating those with more medical conditions before those with fewer.

In other coronavirus-related developments:

VACCINE DISTRIBUTION

U.S. Rep. Annie Kuster of New Hampshire has introduced an updated version of a bill to ensure that the United States will be able to mass-produce and administer COVID-19 vaccines quickly and efficiently.

Kuster and U.S. Rep. Hakeem Jeffries, a fellow Democrat, reintroduced the bill Tuesday.

“This legislation will help to ensure transparency in our vaccination efforts and that Americans — especially communities that have been disproportionately affected by the novel coronavirus — will not face unnecessary delays or obstacles to getting vaccinated,” Kuster said in a statement.

The bill would authorize $20 billion to expand upon the down payment made on vaccines and therapeutic development in the end-of-year spending bill from 2020.

EVICTION INFORMATION

A group of lawyers and paralegals is providing free weekly sessions online to tenants about New Hampshire’s eviction law and procedure.

The first session is on Wednesday from 7 p.m. to 8:30 p.m., sponsored by New Hampshire Legal Assistance and the Legal Advice and Referral Center.

They say the state and federal eviction moratoriums have protected many people from losing their homes since the start of the COVID-19 pandemic. But evictions have continued in New Hampshire, and more are expected when the federal eviction moratorium ends on Jan. 31.

For more information, go to nhlegalaid.org or call 1-800-639-5290.

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