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Tuesday, January 26, 2021

We're In It

The system, queue, line-up or whatever other term(s) apply to being registered and with an appointment date to receive the COVID-19 vaccine.

Yes, we are in the system, although, surprisingly, several friends texted me over the weekend that they did not register nor do they plan to do so.

Huh? 
Considering that it's no cost, and the possible alternative, we didn't hesitate to register as we're in the specified age group (and then some).

Here in NH, an estimated 150,000 state residents registered last Friday, Jan 22, in the first 10 hours of Phase 1B. This category is for those over 65 years old, folks with certain health issues, and remaining health workers and first responders. Phase 1A covered at-risk health workers, residents of long-term care facilities and many first responders. (Admittedly, I don't know why all health care workers and/or first responders would not have come under Phase 1A earlier.)

State health officials hope to have all those in Phase 1B vaccinated by the end of March 2021. According to top NH medical officials, the projections are dependent on how many people register and what the vaccine allocations are from the federal government.

Easy, peasy registration —right?
Not exactly, as there were a couple of surprises and registration did not mean appointment date.

While the state explained some of what would happen in signing up for the COVID-19 vaccine , it didn’t clearly explain what to expect after registering first at the NH State website.

That's because VAMS, a division of the CDC (Vaccine Administration Management System) is being used to schedule a vaccine appointment after online registration. After completing the NH State registration, there was a message that further instructions would follow in 3-5 days on how to schedule an appointment for the first of the two-dose vaccination. 

The VAMS email came less than 12 hours after state registration was done. And, the email arrived before an email from NH explained the process.


It was a bit confusing as the logical sequence of events did not occur in the logical order.

We were not alone in that state of confusion. Many, like Grenville, thought the VAMS email was a scam. The CDC VAMS process also repeated some of the questions asked at the NH State registration website.

Still, the state email to explain the VAMS process contained helpful advice, for example:

* Do not use Internet Explorer as the web browser to set up the appointment through VAMS; use Google Chrome, Firefox, Edge, or Safari only. Not sure of the reason for this caution, which must have really upset folks who don't have any of those listed - is that even possible?

* The VAMS email will contain a link to schedule your appointment. Upon clicking that link, you will be asked: “Have you already registered as a vaccine recipient with VAMS?” Please be sure to answer no (even though you did complete the registration process at the state website).

* If you registered a qualifying household member along with yourself (i.e., spouse) to receive the vaccine at the same time, additional information will not be asked for or required when you schedule your appointment. Just arrive with your qualifying family member.

When Grenville entered our zip code, three locations (hospital, clinic and state of NH site) displayed, thankfully, the email instructions stated that when picking a location, to only select a “state of NH” site unless specifically instructed to select a different site.

Next, came a calendar to choose a vaccine appointment day/time starting on Jan. 26. At the time, Grenville was on the site, the rest of January into early February were taken. We're scheduled for Feb 13 at 2:10 p.m. 

After the appointment process ended, Grenville received a VAMS confirmation that included a QR (quick response) code and instructions to bring it and a valid photo ID (or other form of legal identification) to the appointment.

I  printed the email to have it handy for when we go for the first vaccine dose where instructions will be given to set up the second appointment.

How about you?

Have you been able to register in your state and get an appointment date yet. 

If so, do you plan to sign up?

32 comments:

Marcia said...

We went through the process on Saturday morning. Like you we were surprised to get an email so soon from NH. We chose to register separately so Dan and I have the same appointment day but different times. The earliest available here was Feb 23. Dan is in the morning and I'm in the afternoon.

Laurie said...

I’m Canadian, here in Ontario, northern Ontario we won’t see the vaccine for 65 year olds until August or September, the vaccine isn’t produced in Canada so we must wait longer at least that’s the latest news. I hope they will soon have the facilities to produce vaccine here in Canada but that will not come soon enough for many. , I’m glad you are getting protected, I think it’s important.

DUTA said...

"Huh?":)
Well, there are people out there with allergies, and they are afraid, as allergy and vaccine don't go well together. Masks and distancing are quite effective measures, at least until they learn more about the vaccine and its side effects.

Now, there is also the validity question. They say the vaccine is valid until July. What then,where do we go from there? Nothing is clear. After all, the vaccine was approved only as an emergency measure, for a specific period of time, call it trial time.

Bijoux said...

I’ve heard plenty of people who are refusing to get the vaccine. People are scared of new things and with the internet, there’s a plethora of bad information out there. I think it’s terrible what they are putting people through to sign up. My mom is 81 and doesn’t even use a computer. I think there are many senior citizens who are not tech savvy enough to figure it all out.

John "By Stargoose And Hanglands" said...

Who knew that having a needle stuck in your arm could be so complicated? In the UK they're still vaccinating the most vulnerable; starting on the over-65s some time next month with any luck.

Barbara Rogers said...

Here in North Carolina, the Buncombe County health dept. asked those over 75 and health care workers (group 1b) to get appointments, but the phone line and the internet kept saying all the appointments had been filled. So for about a week nothing happened, then they said all over 65 could get appointments, but this time you signed up to get on a waiting list, which would then mean they would call you, or text you, or email you, with an appointment. My waiting list number is 7993...which seems like there are about 8000 people ahead of me. But I also ended up being on an emergency notification list for Rutherford County...which I don't live in. I keep trying to cancel that, and today still woke up to more emails for them. So I'm patienty waiting for an email that says I've got an appointment 50 miles away. I'll go !

William Kendall said...

I don't know when it'll be available to people of my age group here.

robin andrea said...

I filled out a small questionnaire on our local county website. It was just to let them know that I wanted the vaccine. It asked for name, date of birth, email address, and phone number. There is no schedule yet for when the vaccines will be available. I may have made a mistake when it asked if I would be willing to travel for the vaccine. I said "No." On the other hand, I live in a very large county (the size of Rhode Island), but most of the population is right here where I live. So, I assumed that the travel question was for people living a hundred miles from here, still in our county but no where near a vaccination site. I hope I'm right about that.

Edna B said...

I think they are making a big deal of how to give out the vaccine. Why not just let folks go to their nearest pharmacy or doctor to get the shots? The whole thing seems so very complicated to me. Plus, a lot of us cannot get out easily, nor can we wait in long lines due to our health problems. The government certainly isn't trying to make this easy for us. You have a wonderful day, hugs, Edna B.
p.s. We're not close to getting the shots at this time anyway.

Anvilcloud said...

You folk seem way ahead of us. Although we have plenty on order, ours don't seem to be arriving as promptly. At least I think this is what is happening.

David said...

Beatrice, Here in Loudon County Tennessee, it was a challenge to get through and get on the vaccine list...still health care workers and those over 75. I am somewhere around the 2100th in line with no vaccines at the moment. Some folks around us have gone to other counties and gotten lucky with their 'jabs'. No vaccine = no shots given but we're hopeful. One of our neighbors plus a couple of our friends (all 65 or older) have said that they're not planning to get the vaccine. Go figure! Stay Safe and Take Care, Big Daddy Dave

mamasmercantile said...

Here in the UK you don't have to register you receive notification of place and time and turn up for it either by telephone or letter. They are working on the over 75s here at the moment.

Sandra said...

But you are better off than we are. We were told to call 311 or to go to the Manatee County site and click on the link to register and that it would put our name in a lottery that the names would be drawn and they would call us to make an appointment. They did not ask for email they ask for a phone number our names and our birthdays only. That was three weeks ago and we have not heard anything and no one we know here is getting a shot they're putting out about 500 every 4 days and as soon as they put them out there Gone in 30 minutes and there's only one location

Emma Springfield said...

Congratulations. I hope you will post about your experience with the vaccination itself.

Latane Barton said...

We did not have to register where I live. My dr. office sent me an email telling me to get on my online 'mychart' site and pick my appt. So, I did. Got my first shot last Saturday! What worries me are those that won't get it. They will be a threat to those who have and that's not fair.

Jeanie said...

We have to register online and then are notified if we have an appointment. I have registered on three sites (got my first jab yesterday) but all the forms were quite similar. Rick seems to be caught in form-hell. I think the problem here is vaccine supply quantity so they can't set up everyone's appointment. And problems with various sites infrastructure so it's a mess. Good luck!

Rita said...

I will get one when I can. Not sure what the rules are here but I have a doctor appointment in February and will ask her. Good luck! I hope you can get yours soon. It's different from state to state.

Sallie (FullTime-Life) said...

Not yet, can we move to your state? )). Sure sounds like they have the system down well. Oregon has not received enough vaccine to cover all seniors anyway and so are going to do teachers first. We have mixed feelings ... would like to get the vaccine ASAP, but as former educators (and grandparents and great grands) we firmly believe schools should reopen as soon as it’s safe so ..... they hope w3 can get ours by mid February.

DeniseinVA said...

A wonderful and informative post! We are signed up but will have to wait for a long time until we are called.

acorn hollow said...

so glad you got your appointment!
Cathy

Margaret D said...

IE is longer supported I believe, well not down here anyway.
We have only just had one vaccine approved here but that's expected as the rush is not on as yet due to no Covid here only returned Australians, there are a few cases with them but all in quarantine.
Of course all the tennis people are in Melbourne from abroad as they are playing in the Australian Open and a few of those players are positive and all nations competing are in quarantine except Australians who live here.

Christina said...

That's excellent news, I am pleased for you to be able to have the vaccine soon. It is a bit of a shame that the process of getting an appointment is so complicated, this may be a problem for those individuals that find digital processes confusing, or don't have easy access. In this respect, it is good having a National Health Service (which comes with many problems). We don't need to register but will receive a letter when it is our time. Not for a while for me, I am 50. Of course I might be vaccinated already, I am a vaccine trial participant. I can ask to be unblinded when I get an invite to be vaccinated so will find out soon.

David M. Gascoigne, said...

On balance it seems to easier to land a rover on Mars and send it across the surface, navigating obstacles and picking up samples, than to organize a successful implementation of a vaccination programme. In Ontario no one appears to know quite what is happening - and I think that is putting it kindly.

Polly said...

Hello Beatrice, here in the UK I think we are notified by post. Two of my friends, just in their 80's have had their first jabs, so I think it's now being done by age.

Linda G. said...

I have no appointment yet to receive vaccine. In my small community in Northwestern Pennsylvania I have signed up at two pharmacies. I called two local hospitals too. There is no sign up sheet for either hospital. I need to watch for vaccine availability announcements and follow through with any instructions given, if I want vaccinated at hospital. The two pharmacies have sign up sheets. No one in my area has vaccines available at present. PA opened up phase 1a recently to include 65+ and people with underlying conditions age 16-64. I am in phase 1a due to underlying conditions. I will be 65 years old, too, late next month.

jp@A Green Ridge said...

Hooray!! And I'm glad that you muddled through it all!! The Pres received his first and is scheduled for his second (>75) and my first is scheduled! We will get through this...:)jp

Rob K said...


I live in Brooklyn, and while I don't meet the age requirement, my siblings and aunt all do.

As far as I know they haven't registered yet, but I'll be sure to remind them. I suspect it will be a bureaucratic nightmare.

Doris said...

Yes we will certainly be getting the vaccine. I want released from home all the time ☺☺ Anyway, Dale and I are on two lists and I'm keeping an eye out at more pharmacy's for when they might be taking names, and our Dr. office... but so far no appointment, no indication when in the world we could possibly be getting it. Sigh. Patience is a virtue, I know. Sigh.

Lowcarb team member said...

Here in the UK we are notified by post.

All the best Jan

Carola Bartz said...

I'm not sure why the process was made so confusing. You could almost think they don't want people to register...
I'm not quite in that age group, but since I work in a high school library I am in the priority group of school teachers and staff. Vaccinations for that group should start in February, but I only believe it when I see it. The vaccination roll out has been a bit of a disaster here.

My name is Erika. said...

I'm not until 2B so I am hoping the system is cleared up by then. Congrats on getting an appointment. I don't get why people wouldn't get the vaccine either. Makes no sense to me. It's not even a virus vaccine. But they have the right to decide that. I also know some teachers are upset that NH went a different route from the CDC and moved them to 2a. I'm ok waiting as I know there are people more at risk who need it earlier. Like my mom. She got her first dose 2 weeks ago. Glad to know that! Stay warm in this deep freeze. Hugs-Erika

baili said...

that was brief and useful informative post dear Dorothy

i liked knowing how things are progressing in you part of land ,here we are getting different news from different sources which seems to clash each other so can't say when we will have vaccine within approach here though sounds it will be within next month through rumors
blessing s and best wishes for both of you and for all wonderful family!