COVID-19 Vaccine Update
Sept. 23, 2021

A message from Cyndee McGuire, President & CEO, MCH

Support needed to improve vaccination rate 

Here in the Monadnock Region, autumn is the season we usually associate with apple-picking, back-to-school preparations, and raking leaves. This year, for those of us in healthcare, it is also a most challenging time as we brace to prepare and meet yet another rising wave of COVID now hitting our friends, neighbors and loved ones. Ask anyone who works in healthcare and they’ll tell you that COVID infection rates are exploding, fueled by the Delta variant and a low vaccination rate in our area.

Here at Monadnock Community Hospital, we are mandating the COVID-19 vaccine for all of our employees, while allowing for medical or religious exemptions. Why? Because the vaccines are extraordinarily effective at reducing the risk of serious complications or hospitalizations associated with COVID and because we need to maintain a healthy team here to be able to care for our patients and community. An important fact is that the highly-advanced mRNA science behind these vaccinations is so effective, that Dr. Ozlem Tureci, the lead scientist behind the first COVID vaccine, has announced that her team is now applying what they’ve learned toward developing the first vaccines for cancer.

Across the US, nearly 55% of the population is now fully vaccinated. How are our numbers in New Hampshire? Not great, I’m sorry to report. Vermont, Maine and Massachusetts all boast significantly higher vaccination rates than New Hampshire. Here, in Hillsborough County, our vaccination rate of 50% is one of the lowest in the state.

We can do better – and we must!

This week we launched an ad campaign titled, “Do it for me.” In it, we encourage our community to be vaccinated for the loved ones in their lives, for the healthcare workers throughout the region and for themselves. These ads will feature familiar faces of people you likely know who, together, are joining their voices to encourage everyone to become vaccinated. A year ago, these healthcare heroes bravely led the charge as COVID was causing our schools and many local businesses to close. Now, a year later, the work still continues, as record numbers of people are still getting sick, some very seriously – while some are dying.

People say that vaccines save lives. It’s more accurate to say that vaccinations save lives. In other words, now that we have a highly effective vaccine – we have to use it.

For those of you in our community who have been vaccinated, I’d like to say, “Thank you,” on behalf of us here at MCH. For those who haven’t been vaccinated, I ask you to please reconsider. The virus doesn’t discriminate between political parties, or religious beliefs. When it strikes, it often strikes hard.

These are challenging times and we know that everyone is tired of dealing with COVID. From all of us at MCH, please know we’ll be here for you, if you need us. In return, please remember that our MCH Team, our healthcare heroes, are a precious and limited resource.

You can support their efforts in protecting our community by getting vaccinated and practicing safety protocols, such as masking, screening and social distancing, when appropriate.

We are so grateful for all of the support you give to our hospital and staff and we now need your support with improving our community vaccination rates. Together, let’s work toward reducing COVID’s impact and shortening the time until autumn is more normal, once again.

Cyndee McGuire is the President and CEO of Monadnock Community Hospital
In The News...

FDA Approves Booster Dose of Pfizer vaccine for Certain Populations (However, the CDC has not yet approved the booster dose and it is still under review, so, stay tuned!)

On Sept. 22, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration amended the emergency use authorization (EUA) for the Pfizer-BioNTech COVID-19 Vaccine to allow for use of a single booster dose, to be administered at least six months after completion of the primary series.

The FDA's recommendations for the Pfizer booster dose include the populations, below:
  • Individuals 65 years of age and older;
  • Individuals 18 through 64 years of age at high risk of severe COVID-19; and 
  • Individuals 18 through 64 years of age whose frequent institutional or occupational exposure to SARS-CoV-2 puts them at high risk of serious complications of COVID-19 including severe COVID-19.
  • This authorization applies only to the Pfizer-BioNTech COVID-19 vaccine.
  • Read more about the 9/22 FDA decision here.

The CDC does recommend that moderately to severely immunocompromised people receive an additional vaccine dose.

This includes people who have:

  • Been receiving active cancer treatment for tumors or cancers of the blood
  • Received an organ transplant and are taking medicine to suppress the immune system
  • Received a stem cell transplant within the last 2 years or are taking medicine to suppress the immune system
  • Moderate or severe primary immunodeficiency (such as DiGeorge syndrome, Wiskott-Aldrich syndrome)
  • Advanced or untreated HIV infection
  • Active treatment with high-dose corticosteroids or other drugs that may suppress your immune response

Please Note:

  • MCH is working toward making available COVID vaccinations through our physician offices. They are not yet available in those settings at this time
  • Immunocompromised patients who qualify for a 3rd dose described above can check local availability through this list of pharmacies, or online at

3rd Dose FAQ / Source: CDC

Q. How long after getting my initial COVID-19 vaccines can I get an additional dose?
A. CDC recommends the additional dose of an mRNA COVID-19 vaccine be administered at least four weeks after a second dose of Pfizer-BioNTech COVID-19 vaccine or Moderna COVID-19 vaccine.

Q. Can you mix and match the vaccines?
A. For people who received either Pfizer-BioNTech or Moderna’s COVID-19 vaccine series, a third dose of the same mRNA vaccine should be used. A person should not receive more than three mRNA vaccine doses. If the mRNA vaccine product given for the first two doses is not available or is unknown, either mRNA COVID-19 vaccine product may be administered.

Q. What should immunocompromised people who received the J&J/Janssen vaccine do?
A. The FDA’s recent EUA amendment only applies to mRNA COVID-19 vaccines, as does CDC’s recommendation.
Emerging data have demonstrated that immunocompromised people who have low or no protection following two doses of mRNA COVID-19 vaccines may have an improved response after an additional dose of the same vaccine. There is not enough data at this time to determine whether immunocompromised people who received the Johnson & Johnson’s Janssen COVID-19 vaccine also have an improved antibody response following an additional dose of the same vaccine.

Q. What are the benefits of people receiving an additional vaccine dose?
A. An additional dose may prevent serious and possibly life-threatening COVID-19 in people who may not have responded to their initial vaccine series. In ongoing clinical trials, the mRNA COVID-19 vaccines (Pfizer-BioNTech or Moderna) have been shown to prevent COVID-19 following the two-dose series. Limited information suggests that immunocompromised people who have low or no protection after two doses of mRNA vaccines may have an improved response after an additional dose of the same vaccine.

Q. What are the risks of vaccinating individuals with an additional dose?
A. There is limited information about the risks of receiving an additional dose of vaccine, and the safety, efficacy, and benefit of additional doses of COVID-19 vaccine in immunocompromised people continues to be evaluated. So far, reactions reported after the third mRNA dose were similar to that of the two-dose series: fatigue and pain at injection site were the most commonly reported side effects, and overall, most symptoms were mild to moderate.
However, as with the two-dose series, serious side effects are rare, but may occur.

Please Note:

Masks are mandatory for everyone entering MCH's campus or off-site Practices,
No Exceptions.

For the safety of our community,
our neighbors and loved-ones.
WE URGE YOU to do the right thing
and get vaccinated.

Need Additional Support?
Those without access to the internet, can call 2-1-1. COVID-19 support staff are available 6am-10pm, 7 days a week. Other services available through this line include:
  • Support scheduling an appointment
  • Language Assistance
  • Special Accommodations
  • Help resolving error messages


Calling all Volunteers!
Interested in helping support the upcoming vaccination clinics? Click to sign-up.
Your best protection against COVID-19 is to get the vaccine,
wear a mask, maintain social distancing, avoid crowds,
and wash your hands frequently.
452 Old Street Road | Peterborough, NH 03458