By Paul Burton

(CBS) – New Hampshire’s Phase 1A of the COVID-19 vaccine rollout plan is underway.

“It’s kind of emotional and I am super grateful for everyone out here,” Dental hygienist Chrissy Elwood said. “So I can feel safe at work, protect myself and my patients.”

First in line are high-risk health workers, long term care facility residents and staff and first responders. Dr. Beth Daly, Chief of the Bureau of Infectious Disease Control, says to help speed up the vaccination process the state also has set up 13 drive-thru fixed sites.

“Those fixed sites will eventually have the capacity to run through about 5,000 individuals every day. These are individuals who are the highest risk of either dying from COVID or acquiring COVID 19 due to their occupation.” Dr. Daly said.

It’s by appointment-only and applies to only New Hampshire employees.

“It helps us have a little bit more confidence to do our job,” said Tim Poitras, an environmental health specialist.

No one gets out of their cars, and the vaccine shot is brought to them. Once the individual receives their vaccination, they have wait in their cars for about 15 minutes to make sure there no adverse effects. Then they are free to go, but they still require a second dose.

“It is important for people to get vaccinated at the same location they receive their first dose because of the way the federal government is accounting for that second dose,” Dr. Daly said.

She says the biggest challenge is keeping up with the demand. This first phase is expected to last until the third week in January. They are expecting 110,000 people will be vaccinated.

Paul Burton