CONCORD, N.H. (CBS) – Jack O’Connell has been surprised by the ease at which he can log in and get an appointment for a vaccine in New Hampshire.
“It’s a single pipeline that’s very easy to follow,” he said. The two-step process includes answering several questions and providing personal information on a state website, then getting an invitation from the CDC to book an appointment at one of 22 vaccination sites, which O’Connell received within 12 hours.READ MORE: Stores Are Closing But This Discount Chain Plans To Move In
“We’re both February 11, and we’re thrilled,” said O’Connell, whose wife will also be vaccinated.
New Hampshire is now in phase 1B, expanding the vaccine offering to residents 65 or older just last week, making 300,000 people eligible to get vaccinated in this phase. It’s a much smaller number than Massachusetts, but it’s a streamlined process that seems to be working, according to Perry Plummer who is in charge of the state’s vaccine rollout.READ MORE: 103-Year-Old Man Celebrates Birthday While Getting COVID Vaccine At Lowell General Hospital
“Everybody who registers gets an appointment, some at the end of March right now, but they know they have an appointment,” said Plummer. And it’s guaranteed because Plummer knows the state receives about 17,000 vaccine doses each week. If more becomes available, some appointment dates can be moved up.
The state has also set up a 211 call center for anyone having difficulty navigating the website, with wait times of 20 to 30 minutes. Plummer estimates about 1% of those registering have been unsuccessful. “We’ve had some reports of people who didn’t get an invite, hung in spam or in trash, gave us the wrong email. We’re working with those people as we speak right now,” said Plummer.
O’Connell said it’s a relief knowing he has an appointment. “All of a sudden, we can anticipate seeing our grandchildren or visit our friends in the same room.”MORE NEWS: Coronavirus In Massachusetts: Today's Developments
The state estimates at least three-quarters of eligible people in phase 1B have been registered with appointments.