COVID-19, VACCINES, TESTING & TREATMENTS
COVID19 Vaccines are proven safe and effective. Our providers endorse getting the vaccine and 100% of the ACHS’ team has now been vaccinated.
By getting the COVID19 vaccine and recommended booster shots you can help stop the spread of the virus and help keep you, your family, and the community healthy. ACHS has been approved to administer the COVID19 Vaccine, and boosters as part of the US Health Resources & Services Administration (HRSA) Health Equity Vaccine Program. As such, we have been distributing the COVID vaccine and boosters at our sites. There is NO COST for the COVID19 vaccine or booster and you can request one during your regularly scheduled office appointments at check-in or by calling ahead. COVID19 vaccines and boosters are also available at most local pharmacies.
WHAT IS COVID19? Understanding what the SYMPTOMS are?
- WHO – Patients who have symptoms of COVID-19, those who have been exposed to someone who has tested positive.
- WHAT – COVID-19 rapid (15-minute Antigen test) best for those exhibiting symptoms, and PCR (Polymerase chain reaction) which detects the presence of a virus at the time of the test, even without symptoms. PCR tests are sent to an external laboratory. Results may take a few days, but it is considered the most accurate COVID testing. At-home testing kits are also available to test if you have symptoms.
- WHERE – At-home with testing kits, here at ACHS, or state-designated testing sites, including many area hospitals. Are you an ACHS patient in need of a test? Call your local ACHS site to inquire about availability. At-home tests are free, while supplies last.
- WHEN – If you are an ACHS patient, call for an appointment.
- WHY – To reduce the spread of disease and to determine if, or how long, you need to quarantine.
- HOW – Nasal test swab
If you have tested positive for COVID19 and are at high risk for severe complications, hospitalization, or death, ACHS can offer the drug PAXLOVID which has been issued an emergency authorization usage (EAU) by the FDA for the treatment of mild-to-moderate coronavirus disease in adults and pediatric patients over the age of 12. It is only authorized for those who have tested positive and are at high risk for progression to severe COVID-19. To find out if you qualify, discuss with your primary care provider.
Frequently Asked Questions —
What to do if you have symptoms? If you have any of the symptoms listed above you should quarantine and get tested with a rapid test, PCR test, or an at-home test (available at ACHS for patients while supplies last, and at most pharmacies).
What to do if you have had exposure to someone who has tested positive for COVID19? If you have had direct exposure (less than 6ft apart for more than 15 min.) with someone who has been confirmed positive for COVID19 and you are fully vaccinated (including boosters), you should stay masked and watch for symptoms. You may get tested after 5 days, and you should get tested if symptoms develop. If you are not fully vaccinated (no booster shots) or unvaccinated and the exposure was someone in your household, you should quarantine for 5 days, and get tested after five days or immediately if you develop symptoms. Even if you are NEGATIVE at 5 days you should wear a tight-fitting mask around people for another 5 days. See NH guidelines.
- If you test POSITIVE – you should isolate for 5 days, stay in a specific room and away from others in your home, and inform other close contacts. Take care of yourself and contact your primary care provider if your symptoms get worse and do not improve in 5-7 days. Consider getting a pulse oximeter to test your oxygen level. End isolation after 5 full days if you are fever-free for 24 hours without the use of fever-reducing medications and other symptoms are resolved or much better. If you are still having symptoms, isolate for an additional 5 days. If you do leave isolation prior to 10 days, you must wear a well-fitting mask at all times that you are near other people and you should avoid high-risk people and travel. You do not need to get re-tested after isolation.
- If you test NEGATIVE – you may still have COVID, testing results may vary depending on your date of exposure and testing. You should retest in 36 hours or if symptoms develop or get worse.
What if I have already had COVID19? You may still get COVID particularly since there are a variety of variants. If you are feeling sick, it’s best to visit one of our respiratory clinics to help determine the cause.
Do I need a note or negative test to get back to work? If you have been isolated for 10 days you do not need to be tested again. If your state and/or workplace is following a shorter isolation time frame (such as 5 days) and requests a test prior to starting work, you should use a rapid home test. ACHS does not have the capacity to re-test positive patients, but we do have free test kits for home while supplies last.
Where can I get tested? You can get tested at area pharmacies and urgent care centers, at area hospitals such as Littleton Regional Health Care, or at ACHS as staffing allows. Call for an available appointment. You may also test at home using an approved at-home COVID test kit. These kits are available online, at local pharmacies and retail stores as well as at ACHS for patients as supplies last.
How to get your COVID19 Vaccine at ACHS: Current ACHS patients can call any ACHS location and request a vaccine at an upcoming appointment. Don’t have an upcoming appointment? You can also get a shot at your local pharmacy or at a state-designated site. Have questions? Call your home ACHS location. To learn more about the COVID19 vaccine, please click here.
Children’s Vaccines: Pfizer Covid19 Vaccines are now approved and recommended for all children over 5 years of age. Due to storage requirements, ACHS does not currently carry the Pfizer vaccine. Littleton Regional Healthcare offers the pediatric vaccine. To find additional locations for children over 5, please click here.
Third Shots & Boosters: The FDA has approved, and the CDC has recommended, Pfizer, J&J, and Moderna boosters for some populations. Pfizer and Moderna Boosters are recommended for those over 65 and people under 65 with chronic medical conditions, as well as for people without those risk factors, but with a high risk of exposure such as those who work in a healthcare or other setting.
J&J boosters can be received 2 months after 1st dose. Moderna and Pfizer recipients are eligible five/six months (respectively) from their second shot. Patients may receive any vaccine for this booster and can also select a Moderna or Pfizer booster. Mixing the vaccines is safe and effective. These booster shots are widely available at local pharmacies.
Keeping track of your vaccines: If you are an ACHS patient and have already had your vaccine and/or a booster add a copy of your vaccine card to your medical records by emailing a photo, uploading it to your ACHS patient portal account, faxing it to 603-444-8133, or stopping by any ACHS location. Read more here.
Lost your vaccine card? No worries. You can access your vaccine record and download a copy here.
ACHS participates in the New Hampshire Immunization Information System (NHIIS) a secure, statewide, web-based system that connects and shares immunization information among public clinics, private provider offices, local health departments, schools, hospitals, and other health care facilities that administer immunizations and provide medical care to New Hampshire residents.
Is it safe to get a COVID19 Booster and a Flu shot? Yes, it is safe and both will be effective.
COVID-19 VACCINE DETAILS:
- WHO – Vaccines are available to all NH residents 5+ as well as to those who reside outside of NH.
- WHAT / WHEN –
- First shot, then second shot 21 days later. Third shot (if immunocompromised) one month later. A five-month booster is recommended for all at high risk.
- Recipients who are 5 – 18 years of age may only receive the Pfizer vaccine.
- To locate a designated Pfizer location (approved for those 5-18) click here
- First shot, then second shot 28 days later. Third shot (if immunocompromised) one month later. A six-month booster is recommended for those at high risk.
- Johnson & Johnson
- First shot, booster recommended for all two months later. The booster can be of any of the three vaccine types.
- WHERE – Designated ACHS sites, state sites, some pharmacies, and many area hospitals
- WHY – To protect yourself, your loved ones, and the community from the COVID19 virus
- HOW – Many locations including local pharmacies. For full listings visit the CDC.
FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS about the COVID19 vaccine and COMMON VACCINE SIDE EFFECTS
HELP FOR MENTAL HEALTH CONCERNS? Get assistance for Mental Health, Stress, Anxiety related to COVID19. Access ACHS Behavioral Health resources here.
Previous ACHS communication and patient emails
- 11/18/2022 – ACHS patient email – Virus and masking updates
- 9/27/2021 – ACHS patient email – COVID19 Vaccine & Booster Shot update
- 5/18/2021 -ACHS patient email – You’ve had your shot. Now what?
- 3/1/2021 -ACHS patient email – Finally vaccines at ACHS!
- 1/26/2021 – ACHS patient email – Phase 1B FAQs & Updates
- 1/22/2021 – ACHS patient email – Phase 1B Vaccine Info
- 1/18/2021 – ACHS patient email – Vaccine Update
- 12/17/2020 – ACHS patient email – Vaccine info
- 6/24/2020 – ACHS patient email – Reopening Information
- 3/24/20 – ACHS patient email – COVID19 Patient Update
- 3/17/20 – ACHS patient Email – COVID-19 Info
If you are unable to find the information you are looking for here, you may find it on the State of NH website, the Center For Disease Control (CDC) website, or the World Health Organization (WHO).