The next phase of vaccination signups in New Hampshire got underway on Friday.
Residents age 16 and older are now eligible for the coronavirus vaccine.
They will have to go to sites that have the Pfizer vaccine in stock, currently the only one approved for use for teens. They would need to be accompanied by a parent or guardian. Those without a driver’s license or non-driver’s state ID must bring a birth certificate or passport. Parents or guardians must also bring documentation.
The vaccine has not yet been approved for children under 16.
Last week, officials added a new online waiting room feature to provide users with an estimate of how long it might take to proceed through the appointment process during especially busy hours.
The state replaced the federal Vaccine Administration Management System with its own VINI sign-up website. 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 many users said they experienced problems when they tried to sign up for vaccine appointments last week. No widespread issues were reported this week.
The mayors and administrators of eight college towns have also asked the state to develop a plan to give vaccines to students who are from out of state, but Gov. Chris Sununu said the timing and vaccine supply are currently obstacles.
“The logistics of students leaving the state for vaccinations and returning to our communities creates the potential for increased spread of the virus among our citizens,” the letter dated Thursday said. It was addressed to Sununu and signed by leaders in Manchester, Nashua, Keene, Hanover, Plymouth, Henniker, New London and Durham.
Sununu said New Hampshire residents “have to come first,” and that the out-of-state students are “not included in the mathematics that the federal government uses to provide us with the vaccine.” He wouldn’t rule it out for a later time.
Sununu said that even if the students got into the vaccine registration system on Friday, they would probably get their second shot in May or as they were leaving. He also said that the students are one of the lowest-risk populations.