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Johnson and Johnson ‘pause’ won’t slow vaccine rollout in New Hampshire

Published: Apr. 13, 2021 at 5:08 PM EDT|Updated: Apr. 13, 2021 at 5:09 PM EDT
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WEST LEBANON, N.H. (WCAX) - New Hampshire Gov. Chris Sununu says the temporary pause on the Johnson and Johnson vaccine in New Hampshire will not slow down the state’s rollout plan.

“The first and most important driving force is I am the caretaker for my mother,” said Rick Frey of Orford.

Frey was one of the hundreds of people getting a COVID-19 vaccine Tuesday at a state-run site inside a former department store.

“It makes me feel more comfortable to be with her and to help her and to take care of her. She’s also been vaccinated, but I also think it is the right thing to do,” Frey said.

Officials say anyone who was scheduled for a Johnson and Johnson shot will simply get the two-dose jab instead.

“It feels like we are one step closer and the more people that get it the better,” said Megan Sobel.

Sobel is the athletic director at Hanover High School.

“You know we are interacting every day with so many people, so I think particularly for our students who haven’t yet had it, those under 16,” Sobel said.

“For me, it means a lot more freedom and a lot more security and knowing that I can keep myself and my community more safe by being vaccinated,” said Cait McGovern.

Granite Staters 16 and older can now register for the vaccine. Beginning April 19, nonpermanent residents are welcome to schedule an appointment as well, which includes college students.

McGovern is a senior at Dartmouth who calls New Hampshire home.

“Ultimately, we are all members of the same community. [Coronavirus] doesn’t know the difference between a student and a town resident,” McGovern said.

To date, more than half of New Hampshire’s eligible population has received at least one dose. One out of every four residents has been fully vaccinated.

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