Massachusetts residents over the age of 16 won’t only be eligible to get the COVID-19 vaccine in Massachusetts on April 19.
They’ll also be eligible to get the vaccine in New Hampshire.
New Hampshire Gov. Chris Sununu announced Thursday that the state will drop its residency requirement for vaccine appointments beginning April 19, meaning that people who live in neighboring states — or literally “anywhere” — will be allowed to come over the border for a shot.
The change comes after Sununu faced criticism for prohibiting out-of-state college students from getting the vaccine in New Hampshire. However, the Republican governor now says that New Hampshire — which is currently leading all states in vaccine supply used and first doses administered per capita — expects to have enough supply for out-of-state college students, vacation home owners, and just about anyone willing to make a trip to the Granite State.
Even if Sununu wanted Massachusetts residents to stay in their state due to COVID-19 concerns last spring, his office now says it’s fine if Bay Staters want to come up to get vaccinated.
“We are incredibly proud of the fact that our success allows the state to offer the vaccine to any person from anywhere beginning on April 19,” Sununu said in a statement to Boston.com. “New Hampshire is getting the job done.”
According to Sununu’s office, individuals must register on the state’s vaccine website to book an appointment. And out-of-staters will have to wait until April 19 to do so; the registration currently requires a New Hampshire address, and a spokesman for Sununu says that won’t change until eligibility officially expands on April 19.
The move comes after New Hampshire opened vaccine eligibility to its own residents over the age of 16 on April 2. As of Thursday, officials said 60 percent of the state’s eligible population has either been vaccinated or has scheduled an appointment. Just over 45 percent have gotten at least one shot, according to Bloomberg’s vaccine tracker.
President Joe Biden recently set April 19 as the date all states should make the vaccine available to its residents over the age of 16. It’s also the date that Massachusetts, Rhode Island, and Vermont had set to fully expand eligibility. However, officials in Massachusetts and across the country have cautioned that it may take several weeks for residents to book an appointment due to high demand.