Update: At 5:03 p.m. Gov. Sununu’s spokesman sent the following update: “We expect that by the end of the day, over 100,000 individuals will have registered. Nearly 75,000 of those have already booked their appointments. There are over 100,000 appointments still available to be reserved, and we encourage anyone who has registered to log back on to pick a time and location convenient for them.”
By NANCY WEST, InDepthNH.org
CONCORD – Gov. Chris Sununu acknowledged delays in the state’s new vaccine registration system Monday as 200,000 new people aged 50 and older became eligible to sign up to get the COVID-19 vaccination but provided little other information.
People who couldn’t get registered took to Twitter to complain and the New Hampshire Democratic Party was quick to criticize it as Sununu’s second vaccination registration system failure after the federal one caused lots of problems early on, prompting the state to build its own system.
Sununu’s spokesman Ben Vihstadt sent an email with a quote from Sununu when asked what happened and he focused on the bright side:
“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. Registrations have been accepted and continue to be processed at an increasing pace, with over 35,000 having scheduled an appointment within the first three hours,” Sununu said in the emailed quote.
Vihstadt didn’t respond when asked for more information.
This came a week after the site was launched and after WMUR reported on Friday that 21 people had been turned away from Walgreens’ vaccination appointments. WMUR said state officials pointed to overbooking at several Walgreens locations, with most occurring at the Bedford location.
Some retweeted the photo Sununu posted of himself on Sunday about taking a day off. “So this is what a day off feels like.
“I may or may not have spent my Sunday afternoon on top of a mountain getting a tan and listening to the latest Brooks Young Band album with #603springskiing and #bestdaysahead,” Sununu tweeted.
One person reminded Sununu on Twitter that he missed the #StopAsianHate Rally Sunday at the State House by taking a day off.
“Less than a week after Gov. Chris Sununu launched his new Vaccine & Immunization Interface (VINI) system, Granite Staters are reporting not being able to register for their COVID vaccination and being turned away for their scheduled COVID vaccination appointment at Walgreens due to site glitches that over-registered Granite Staters,” a press release from the New Hampshire Democratic Party said.
State Sen. Cindy Rosenwald, D-Nashua, said: “This is now the second time that Governor Sununu has promised a seamless vaccine registration process for Granite Staters and failed to deliver. The Governor’s inability to create a working, effective registration system is unacceptable.
“There are still hundreds of thousands of Granite Staters who will need to sign up for the vaccine, and Governor Sununu needs to figure out a way to address these problems immediately,” Rosenwald said.