As seasonal allergies return, sufferers may worry that their symptoms may actually be COVID-19, but there are some key differences.
With Thursday’s announcement that New Hampshire will open up vaccination to out-of-state college students on April 19, all of New England now appears to be on the same page.
Until Gov. Chris Sununu’s afternoon press conference, New Hampshire was the only state in the region choosing not to vaccinate out-of-state college students. Sununu received pushback as a result, particularly after he wrongly stated that no other state in New England was doing so.
“Every vaccine I give to a 19-year-old out-of-state student from Colorado is a vaccine I’m not giving to a New Hampshire resident,” Republican Sununu cited as his initial reasoning. He also contested that by the time these students would be eligible for their second dose, it’s likely they’d already have gone home for summer break.
‘Infuriating’:NH out-of-state students denied COVID vaccine push back
But New Hampshire decided to change course, ultimately joining all other states in New England that are offering the vaccine to out-of-state college students.
Sununu:Out-of-state NH students eligible for COVID vaccine April 19
In addition, some individual universities in the region have recently announced that vaccination will be required for all students come fall.
Some universities are requiring COVID-19 vaccine for students
Northeastern University in Boston and Brown University in Providence, Rhode Island, both private universities, announced this week that they’ll require all students to be fully-vaccinated by the first day of classes in the fall, but will allow for health and religious exemptions.
Northeastern will require proof of vaccination, but will not administer the vaccine itself. Brown’s President Christina Paxson, in a letter to the university community, made clear that any student who remains unvaccinated and does not qualify for an exemption will not be allowed on campus in the fall.
More: Brown University to begin requiring vaccines for students come fall
Student body leaders at the University of New Hampshire continued to advocate that out-of-state students – who make up a larger percentage of the school’s population than in-state students – be included in the state’s vaccine plan. This week, the university began holding its own vaccine clinics for students and staff, but out-of-state students weren’t allowed.
As a result, some UNH students – many who could be a plane flight away from home – were rushing to declare domicile based on their dormitory or off-campus apartment address.
But on Thursday, the state announced those students will become eligible on April 19.
The American College Health Association’s coronavirus task force is pushing for students to be vaccinated before they head home for the summertime, to prevent them from possibly spreading the virus during travel.
More: Rutgers, Cornell mandate COVID-19 vaccines for students. Is this the new norm for college?
The decision by universities and colleges to mandate vaccination won’t come without a fight. Dorit Rubinstein Reiss, a professor at the University of California, Hastings College of Law who studies vaccine law, told USA TODAY this week that, “I am very sure we’ll see court cases.”
When will New England start vaccinating out-of-state college students?
Out-of-state college students will become eligible for the COVID-19 vaccine in New Hampshire beginning April 19, as newly announced on Thursday.
Sununu cited an “immense amount of opportunity for folks to come into the system,” in regards to appointment availability. He noted there’s “plenty of time” between now and April 19 for New Hampshire residents to book their appointments, ahead of eligibility opening for people “regardless of residency.”
Since the start of its vaccine rollout, Massachusetts has said it will vaccinate anyone who attends school in the Commonwealth, including out-of-state students attending higher education institutions.
Out-of-state students, as well as international students, residing and attending college in Maine became eligible for the vaccine on April 7, along with all Maine residents age 16 and older.
According to Rhode Island’s eligibility criteria, “To get vaccinated in Rhode Island, you must live in Rhode Island, work in Rhode Island, or go to school in Rhode Island.” Appointment scheduling for individuals ages 16-39 will “likely begin by late April,” per the state’s health department.
Vermont Gov. Phil Scott had the initial stance that out-of-state students did not meet eligibility requirements, but that’s since changed. Per the state’s plan, if there is leftover vaccine supply, beginning Friday, April 30, out-of-state students will be able to register for appointments. More than 72% of the student population at the University of Vermont in Burlington are from out-of-state.
Per Connecticut’s policy, “If you are attending boarding school or college in the state of Connecticut but your residence is outside of Connecticut, you can receive your vaccine here. You must be currently attending school in person in Connecticut in order to be eligible to receive your shot here.”