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Website wobbly for NH vaccines

Associated Press
Published: 3/22/2021 8:49:05 PM
Modified: 3/22/2021 8:49:19 PM

CONCORD — New Hampshire’s new vaccine registration system struggled to meet initial demand in its first big test Monday, though the pace picked up as the day went on.

The state last week replaced the federal Vaccine Administration Management System with its own Vaccine and Immunization Network Interface, VINI for short. Thousands of people experienced problems with the previous system, particularly in scheduling their second doses, and officials had expected the new system to avoid those woes. But it was beset with technical problems Monday morning, when registration opened to anyone age 50 and older.

In a notice on the state’s vaccine website early Monday morning, officials apologized for the issues and said they would be addressed as soon as possible. By late morning, the message described delays due to unprecedented volume, and urged viewers to try again 10 minutes later if they weren’t successful.

Gov. Chris Sununu said 40,000 people made appointments in the first three and a half hours, and registrations were being processed at a quicker pace.

“An unprecedented volume of web traffic was experienced this morning, a good sign that Granite Staters are ready and eager to receive their vaccine, which did cause some to experience delays,” he said in a statement.

Sununu last week said about 200,000 first-dose appointments would be loaded into the system.

“So folks shouldn’t worry about having to be just the first one in line. There’s going to be plenty of room for everyone,” he said Thursday.

Vaccinated teachers

Schools in multiple communities were closed Monday because of staff absences attributed to vaccine side-effects. Teachers, school staff and child care workers became eligible for the vaccine last week, and vaccination clinics were held in numerous locations over the weekend.

School was canceled Monday in Concord because of staff reactions to vaccines, said Assistant Superintendent Donna Palley. A message on the Hillsboro-Deering district website described a similar situation.

“A large number of staff members received their COVID vaccines yesterday and many are reporting feeling very ill. There will be no remote or in-person learning for the high school today,” the message said.

The main side effects from the COVID-19 vaccines currently approved in the U.S. include pain at the injection site and flu-like fever, fatigue and headache.

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