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Some N.H. Front Line Health Workers Unable To Register For 2nd COVID Vaccine Shot

New Hampshire Veterans Home

Some frontline health care workers who have gotten their first dose of the coronavirus vaccine say they're not able to register for their second shot, as the state works to move to a new registration system in preparation for future phases.

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Those in the state's current vaccination phase are using the CDC's Vaccine Administration Management System, or VAMS, to register for vaccine appointments.

Sandra Dodge is a mental health counselor at a private practice in Barrington. She says signing up for her first vaccine couldn't have been easier. But now, every appointment through VAMS appears to be filled.

"For days I was going to all the ones around, local, and further out and further out, as far away as Lebanon, and there were just not dates available. And I've tried three or four times a day, every day," Dodge told NHPR.

Officials at a statewide call with health providers last week said appointments past Jan. 31 aren't currently being made available through VAMS.

"You're going to have to wait to get more information on scheduling doses past this January. There are plenty of appointments available for the month of January, so you should not be experiencing issues signing up for those spots," said Beth Daly, chief of the state's Bureau of Infectious Disease Control.

Andrew Gersten, a psychologist with Amoskeag Health Center in Manchester, woh got his first shot on Jan. 6 but hasn't been able to get a second appointment. He says the wait for further information has been frustrating, and that 

DHHS has told him and his colleagues to keep trying to register.

"This is another inconsistency in the state that seems to be negatively impacting health care workers who aren't connected in some other way, perhaps, to a bigger hospital system," Gersten said. 

Both available COVID-19 vaccines require two doses three or four weeks apart. So far,nearly 50,000 people in New Hampshire have received their first dose according to the CDC, but data for second doses isn't yet available.

Click here for answers to some frequently asked COVID-19 vaccine questions.

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