Don Caruso, MD, MPH, president and CEO, and Aalok Khole, MD, infectious diseases specialist at Cheshire Medical Center, answered questions from Dan Mitchell and listeners recently on WKBK. Topics included COVID-19 and vaccines, Cheshire's planned Maple Ave facility, our paid training programs, and more.
Cheshire Medical Center and Dartmouth-Hitchcock Health recommend the COVID-19 vaccine, and we hope you will choose to be vaccinated when it is available for you. We have high hopes for this vaccine as another important step—along with other effective techniques—in ending this pandemic.
NOTE: Cheshire Medical Center is NOT registering people for vaccination appointments or vaccinating people at our facilities. New Hampshire's fixed site for the Greater Monadnock Public Health Region is at Krif Road in Keene.
Quick links to sections of frequently asked questions
- Where can I learn more about the vaccine?
- Eligibility, preregistration and appointments
- On the day of your appointment
- Proof of vaccination
- Monadnock Region community vaccination information
- Additional resources
Vaccine information from Dartmouth-Hitchcock
Learn more about the COVID-19 vaccines and make your own choice about vaccination:
Vaccination eligibility and pre-registration
Anyone 16 years or older is now eligible to make a vaccination appointments at vaccines.nh.gov or by calling 2-1-1. This includes those who are not officially New Hampshire residents, including out-of-state college students, people with second homes in the state, and visitors.
Plus one appointments update: People can no longer add a plus-one to their vaccination appointments. Every person newly registering for an appointment must have their own time slot. Anyone who already had a plus-one appointment booked will not be affected by the change.
Find more useful information about getting the COVID-19 vaccine in Dartmouth-Hitchcock Health's Vaccine FAQs >
Vaccination appointment questions:
Can I arrive at the Keene vaccination site in the evening to receive a "leftover" dose without an appointment?
No. Our team operates under a Zero Waste policy so there are no leftover doses and you will be turned away unless you are an add-on to an accompanying household member's appointment. Please see the NH State Vaccination FAQ for more details.
Can people still join others' scheduled appointments and receive the vaccine as an add-on?
NO. As of Monday, 4/19/21, people can no longer add a plus-one to their vaccination appointments. Every person newly registering for an appointment must have their own time slot. Anyone who already had a plus-one appointment booked will not be affected by the change.
Can my provider help me get an appointment sooner or specify which type of vaccine I get?
No. Providers have no access to the state's appointment system or scheduling at the Krif Road site in Keene.
Will my second vaccination appointment be scheduled when I get my first shot?
- At your first-dose appointment, you will be given a vaccine card. On the back of the card, the date of your first dose appointment will be listed.
- Your second dose will be scheduled at this time and also added to the back of the card. It will be exactly the same time of day as your first appointment and we ask that you write the time of day on your card
- Please also write your own name and date of birth on your vaccination card.
On the day of your appointment:
Please complete your pre-vaccination questionnaire BEFORE arriving for your appointment!
On the day of each vaccination appointment, you will be sent an email with a link to log in to VINI
Follow the instructions to fill out the questionnaire BEFORE coming to the state-run vaccination site. This helps us reduce delays for the hundreds of people being vaccinated each day.
Should I plan to arrive early for my appointment?
- Please arrive as close to your scheduled appointment time as possible.
- Due to the volume of people being vaccinated daily, people arriving early have been contributing to long wait times.
What should I wear to my vaccination appointment?
- Your upper arm and shoulder will need to be exposed so you can be vaccinated.
- Wear loose sleeves that you can easily roll up above your shoulder or cardigan you can unbutton and pull down below your upper arm.
- You will need to wait in your car for 15 minutes after your shot, so bring warm clothes.
What documents should I bring to my appointment?
Please bring a Federal ID, such as a
- valid driver's license
- non-driver ID card
- birth certificate
If arriving for your second vaccine shot, please bring your vaccination card.
I am 16 or 17 years of age, what do I need to bring?
- Your parent or guardian, along with one of the documents above proving their residency.
- A driver's license, non-driver's state ID, birth certificate, or passport that confirms your age.
If arriving for your second vaccine shot, please bring your vaccination card.
I lost my vaccination card before my second vaccination
Staff at the state-run vaccination site will be able to look you up in the state or federal system to verify your information if you are unable to bring your card to your second appointment.
How long should I plan to be at my vaccination appointment?
- Please plan on approximately 2 hours for your appointment – this includes your 15 minute observation time after you receive your shot.
- Due to the high number of people being vaccinated each day, people not filling out their pre-vaccination questionnaires before arriving, and people arriving early for their appointments, we have experienced some significant delays. While your appointment may only take 30 minutes, please budget two hours in your day.
- Please plan to arrive as close to your appointment time as possible. People arriving early have contributed to significant lines and wait times.
- Vaccine appointments are in 10-minute slots.
- You will need to wait in your car for 15 minutes following your shot in case you experience a very rare reaction to the vaccine and need medical treatment.
- People with a history of anaphylactic allergic reactions to vaccines or the ingredients in the COVID-19 vaccine will need to be observed for 30 minutes instead of 15.
Can I choose which vaccine I receive?
No. The scheduling system records which vaccine you receive for your first shot so the volunteers will know which vaccine to administer at your second appointment.
What if I miss my appointment time?
If you have an appointment and you are late, you may still be vaccinated that day because your dose was allocated to be used that day.
However, you may have to wait until a volunteer becomes available to administer your dose around other patients’ scheduled appointments.
What if I feel unwell during my 15-minute observation period after vaccination?
If you are waiting in a car, honk the horn and a medical professional will respond immediately.
What side effects should I expect in the days following my vaccination?
- Pain, redness, and swelling in the arm where you got your shot.
- Flu-like symptoms mean your immune system is responding to the protein the vaccine told your body to make. These can include:
- feeling unwell
- muscle pain
- joint pain
- swollen glands / lymph nodes (lymphadenopathy)
- Most people experience more side effects from the second shot because your body’s immune system recognizes the protein in the vaccine and responds. Please plan accordingly.
- If you experience flu-like symptoms beyond three (3) days after your vaccination, call your provider in case you were exposed to COVID-19 before you received your vaccination.
- Learn more from the CDC about what to expect after getting a COVID-19 vaccine.
Before being vaccinated, you will receive a COVID-19 Vaccine Emergency Use Authorization (EUA) Fact Sheet which will include important information about the vaccine. You should read this Fact Sheet carefully.
What do I do if I experience side effects following my vaccination?
CDC and FDA encourage the public to report possible side effects (called adverse events) to the Vaccine Adverse Event Reporting System (VAERS). This national system collects data to look for adverse events that are unexpected, appear to happen more often than expected, or have unusual patterns. Reports to VAERS help CDC monitor the safety of vaccines. Safety is a top priority.
If you experience side effects that last beyond three (3) days after your injection, contact your provider. It is possible to be exposed to COVID-19 in the week prior to receiving your vaccine, so your provider may recommend testing.
Is the vaccine immediately effective in people?
No, the vaccine does not provide immediate protection from COVID-19. Full effectiveness takes place 14 days after either your second Pfizer or Moderna vaccine shot or 28 days after your one Johnson and Johnson vaccine shot.
Proof of vaccination
My vaccine card contains inaccurate information. How can I get the information corrected?
If there is an error on your vaccine card (dose, date, etc.), please send an email to email@example.com with a request to update that information.
How do I show proof that I’ve received both vaccine doses?
The vaccination card given to you during your appointment serves as proof, with dates and dose numbers.
I am not able to access or print my vaccine certificate. What should I do?
- I can’t access the website or I don’t have a computer.
- I did not register for my appointment through vaccines.nh.gov.
- I was an add-on for someone else’s appointment.
- I was an add-on at the Keene Krif Road Site.
- A third party made my appointment for me.
If ANY of the above statements are TRUE, continue to the ACTION ITEM below.
If NONE of the above statements are true, please follow the FAQ immediately below ( I am unable to view or print my vaccine certificate in VAMS. Who can help me?)
ACTION ITEM: To request a copy of you vaccination certificate after receiving the COVID-19 vaccine at the Krif Rd. site in Keene, send an email to firstname.lastname@example.org with all the following information:
- Your full name
- Your date of birth
- The date you received your first and second dose
- The vaccine you received: Pfizer or Moderna
- Your email address
- Your phone number
You will receive a confirmation message that we’ve received your request. We will email you back once we are able to process your request with a PDF of your certificate.
Thank you for your patience with this process.
I am unable to view or print my vaccine certificate in VAMS or VINI. Who can help me?
First, please check that your web browser settings allow pop-ups for the VAMS website. If pop-ups are blocked you should go to your web browser settings to allow for pop-ups.
If you are using Internet Explorer, you should try using a different internet browser. Microsoft Edge, Google Chrome, Safari, and Firefox are the browsers you can use to open the link to VAMS in your email. You can download Google Chrome here.
If you are still unable to view and print the PDF, please send an email to email@example.com to request they email you a PDF of your certificate.
How will my provider know when I’ve received both vaccinations?
Please bring your vaccination card or the certificate mentioned above to your next medical appointment.
Monadnock Region community vaccination information:
Where is the fixed vaccination site for the Monadnock Region?
Vaccines are given at the Monadnock Region's state-fixed site at 110 Krif Rd., Keene, NH 03431.
This is Keene State College's Athletic Complex parking lot, south of 101 off of Winchester St/Rt. 10 across the street from Hamshaw Lumber & Ace Hardware entrance. Look for the blue vaccine signs.
Please note: The vaccination site is not at KSC's main campus. Use "Krif Road, Keene" rather than "Keene State College" to guide you there using GPS.
Is the Johnson & Johnson vaccine available at the site in Keene?
No. All J&J vaccines allocated to our region are being used to vaccinate homebound patients and are not available at the Krif Road site in Keene.
Will I be charged or even asked for any payment information related to COVID-19 vaccination?
You may be asked for your insurance information at the vaccination site. However, no one – for any reason – should ask for payment information, such as a bank account or credit card number. Please beware of scam phone calls and websites asking for such information.
I don’t have transportation or am homebound, how do I get vaccinated?
Local volunteer resources to support those without access to transportation for their COVID-19 vaccine appointment:
Phone: 603-821-0569. CVTC also provides rides for people whose mobility is dependent on a wheelchair. CVTC covers the full Greater Monadnock Public Health Region (map included on the website)
- CVTC will cover weekday and weekend appointments
- 1 rider at a time, or two household members (rides happen in personal vehicles, not buses/shuttles)
If you are currently homebound, please fill out the form on our Vaccine Equity Allocation page. Greater Monadnock Public Health Network volunteers work with local community partners to coordinate your vaccination appointment.
How do I sign up to volunteer at the state-run vaccination site?
Fill out this form: https://www.surveymonkey.com/r/WVN5LTZ
How can I help minority community members become comfortable with vaccination and sign up for a vaccine?
Cheshire's Center for Population Health has created a page to help advocates educate minority communities on the importance of COVID-19 vaccines, provide materials in multiple languages, and address vaccine hesitancy. Visit Vaccine Outreach Support for Minority Communities.
How can I donate healthy snacks or nonperishable food for the volunteers at the state-run site?
Please email Tricia Zahn, director of community strategic partnerships at our Center for Population Health.
How can I help people lacking transportation to get to their appointments?
Please contact the organizations that serve our region directly if you want to volunteer or donate:
Community Volunteer Transportation Company (CVTC), serving the Greater Monadnock Public Health Region. 877-428-2882
How can I encourage others in our community to get vaccinated for COVID-19?
Take a selfie at the vaccination site and post on social media stating the reasons you got your vaccination. Point them to the resources included on this page so those who are unsure about whether to get vaccinated have accurate information on which to base their decision.