North Country Healthcare Hospitals Receiving COVID-19 Vaccines

North Country Healthcare Hospitals Receiving COVID-19 Vaccines

As part of North Country Healthcare’s (NCH) commitment to best ensure the health and
wellbeing of our communities, NCH hospitals (Androscoggin Valley Hospital, Upper Connecticut
Valley Hospital, Weeks Medical Center) anticipate receiving a limited supply of COVID-19
vaccinations as early as this week, with administration to begin shortly thereafter.
New Hampshire received a limited, initial allotment of the vaccine earlier this week. That
allotment was then disbursed to several regions of the State. Initial doses are part of the Phase
1a vaccination plan which incorporates at-risk health workers, older adults in residential care
settings, and first responders. Healthcare providers and staff are appropriately tiered based on
their level of patient care, age, and potential risk factors. Subsequent vaccination beyond
Phase 1a will occur as supplies allow.
The vaccine, which is administered as two injections three or four weeks apart, dependent on
the brand received, is part of NCH’s ongoing effort to reduce transmission of the virus which
has recently spiked in Northern New Hampshire.
The COVD-19 vaccines have undergone trials which tested for both safety and efficacy.
Following two doses from the same manufacturer, recent clinical trials have shown the Pfizer
and Moderna vaccines to be 95% and 94% effective, respectively, in preventing COVID-19.
Currently the Food and Drug Administration has endorsed Pfizer for authorized emergency use
to those aged 16 or older. Such emergency authorization is anticipated shortly for the Moderna

NCH encourages you to speak with your healthcare provider about your interest in receiving, as
well as any questions about, the vaccine as it becomes available in future phases. “We
encourage everyone to become informed about the vaccine and its proven safety in clinical
trials,” commented Ed Laverty, PA-C, NCH Incident Command Chair. “In addition to social
distancing, wearing facemasks and washing hands, receiving the vaccine is another important
step that we can take to reduce the transmission of COVID-19 as well as its potentially harmful
It is important that those who receive the vaccine continue to wear facemasks, as the effects of
the vaccination are not generally immediate, and because it could take several months to
administer the vaccine to all those who wish to receive it.
ABOUT COVID-19: COVID-19 disease is caused by a coronavirus called SARS-CoV-2.
It is predominantly a respiratory illness that can affect other organs. People with
COVID-19 have had a wide range of symptoms ranging from mild to severe illness.
Symptoms may appear 2 to 14 days after exposure to the virus. Symptoms may
include: fever or chills; cough; shortness of breath; fatigue; muscle or body aches;
headache; new loss of taste or smell; sore throat; congestion or runny nose;
nausea or vomiting; diarrhea.

For more information about the COVID-19 vaccine, please visit:

The Centers for Disease Control (CDC) website
The NH Department of Health and Human Services website
The U.S. Food and Drug Administration


Covid 19 Update

Patient Guide for COVID-19

This document is provided by the National Association for Home Care & Hospice.

Steps for people with confirmed or suspected COVID-19 (including persons under investigation) who do not need to be hospitalized and people with confirmed COVID-19 who were hospitalized and determined to be medically stable to go home.

Your healthcare provider and public health staff will evaluate whether you can be cared for at home. If it is determined that you do not need to be hospitalized and can be isolated at home, you will be monitored by staff from your local or state health department. You should follow the prevention steps below until a healthcare provider or local or state health department says you can return to your normal activities.

Stay home except to get medical care

You should restrict activities outside your home, except for getting medical care. Do not go to work, school, or public areas. Avoid using public transportation, ride-sharing, or taxis.

Separate yourself from other people and animals in your home

People: As much as possible, you should stay in a specific room and away from other people in your home. Also, you should use a separate bathroom, if available.

Animals: You should restrict contact with pets and other animals while you are sick with COVID-19, just like you would around other people. Although there have not been reports of pets or other animals becoming sick with COVID-19, it is still recommended that people sick with COVID-19 limit contact with animals until more information is known about the virus. When possible, have another member of your household care for your animals while you are sick. If you are sick with COVID-19, avoid contact with your pet, including petting, snuggling, being kissed or licked, and sharing food. If you must care for your pet or be around animals while you are sick, wash your hands before and after you interact with pets and wear a facemask.

Call ahead before visiting your doctor

If you have a medical appointment, call the healthcare provider and tell them that you have or may have COVID-19. This will help the healthcare provider’s office take steps to keep other people from getting infected or exposed.

Wear a facemask

You should wear a facemask when you are around other people (e.g., sharing a room or vehicle) or pets and before you enter a healthcare provider’s office. If you are not able to wear a facemask (for example, because it causes trouble breathing), then people who live with you should not stay in the same room with you, or they should wear a facemask if they enter your room.

Cover your coughs and sneezes


Cover your mouth and nose with a tissue when you cough or sneeze. Throw used tissues in a lined trash can; immediately wash your hands with soap and water for at least 20 seconds or clean your hands with an alcohol-based hand sanitizer that contains 60 to 95% alcohol, covering all surfaces of your hands and rubbing them together until they feel dry. Soap and water should be used preferentially if hands are visibly dirty.


Clean your hands often

Wash your hands often with soap and water for at least 20 seconds or clean your hands with an alcohol-based hand sanitizer that contains 60 to 95% alcohol, covering all surfaces of your hands and rubbing them together until they feel dry. Soap and water should be used preferentially if hands are visibly dirty. Avoid touching your eyes, nose, and mouth with unwashed hands.

Avoid sharing personal household items

You should not share dishes, drinking glasses, cups, eating utensils, towels, or bedding with other people or pets in your home. After using these items, they should be washed thoroughly with soap and water.

Clean all “high-touch” surfaces everyday

High touch surfaces include counters, tabletops, doorknobs, bathroom fixtures, toilets, phones, keyboards, tablets, and bedside tables. Also, clean any surfaces that may have blood, stool, or body fluids on them. Use a household cleaning spray or wipe, according to the label instructions. Labels contain instructions for safe and effective use of the cleaning product including precautions you should take when applying the product, such as wearing gloves and making sure you have good ventilation during use of the product.

Monitor your symptoms

Seek prompt medical attention if your illness is worsening (e.g., difficulty breathing). Before seeking care, call your healthcare provider and tell them that you have, or are being evaluated for, COVID-19. Put on a facemask before you enter the facility. These steps will help the healthcare provider’s office to keep other people in the office or waiting room from getting infected or exposed. Ask your healthcare provider to call the local or state health department. Persons who are placed under active monitoring or facilitated self-monitoring should follow instructions provided by their local health department or occupational health professionals, as appropriate.

If you have a medical emergency and need to call 911, notify the dispatch personnel that you have, or are being evaluated for COVID-19. If possible, put on a facemask before emergency medical services arrive.

Discontinuing home isolation

Patients with confirmed COVID-19 should remain under home isolation precautions until the risk of secondary transmission to others is thought to be low. The decision to discontinue home isolation precautions should be made on a case-by-case basis, in consultation with healthcare providers and state and local health departments.

Source: CDC, Preventing the Spread of Coronavirus Disease 2019 in Homes and Residential Communities, Interim Guidance