20210114-LOC-Vaccine

Registration for the COVID-19 vaccine will open to all adult Granite Staters by the end of next week, Gov. Chris Sununu announced Thursday.

On Monday, anyone 40 or older will be eligible to register for their first dose. Those 30 and older will be able to sign up on Wednesday, and anyone 16 and older can book their appointments starting Friday, April 2.

“Everyone who wants a vaccine can get a vaccine, as of [next] Friday,” Sununu said at a news conference. He added that each of the three age groups has around 150,000 people in it.

The sole exception will be children under 16, as none of the three available vaccinations have been authorized for that age group.

Sununu said that if all goes according to plan, everyone 16 and older should be able to get their first shot by Memorial Day.

New Hampshire residents can sign up to get vaccinated via the state’s online portal, known as VINI, which can be accessed via vaccines.nh.gov.

Sununu said the system registered some 100,000 people when it opened up appointments for people 50 and over this past Monday.

He said that while the system did slow down due to a high volume of traffic, there was no crash, and some of the first people to sign up were able to get their shots by Monday afternoon.

As of Thursday, 537,000 doses of COVID-19 vaccine had been administered in New Hampshire since the state began vaccinating in December, Dr. Beth Daly, chief of the state’s Bureau of Infectious Disease Control, said during Thursday’s news conference. She said about 14 percent of the state’s population is fully vaccinated, with another 26 percent having received a first dose.

She said the state had administered more than 65,000 doses within the past week.

New Hampshire is seeing a slight uptick in COVID cases in recent weeks, according to Dr. Benjamin Chan, state epidemiologist. But he said the opposite is true in age groups that have had access to vaccines already, specifically people 60 and older.

“People 60 years of age and older continue to show slow declines in the number of new infections,” he said. “Likely this is an effect, we believe, of vaccination, and rolling out vaccine first to the older age group.”

Mia Summerson can be reached at 352-1234, extension 1435, or msummerson@keenesentinel.com. Follow her on Twitter

@MiaSummerson