CONCORD, N.H. (AP) - New Hampshire will remove its residency requirement for the coronavirus vaccination starting April 19.
Republican Gov. Chris Sununu had faced some criticism from Democrats and officials in college communities over the state’s initial decision to prohibit college students from other states other non-residents from being vaccinated in New Hampshire. But that restriction is being lifted because the state anticipates having plenty of doses to go around, Sununu said Thursday.
“We just have so much more availability, we’re gonna have a lot of vaccine here, so we want to get it out to anyone might be here in the state,” he said.
All New Hampshire residents age 16 and older have been eligible for the vaccine since April 2. About 60% of that population has either been vaccinated or has scheduled their shots, said Elizabeth Daley, chief of the state Bureau of Infectious Disease Control.
In other coronavirus developments:
More than 20 New Hampshire school districts have asked the state if they can delay returning to full-time, in person instruction that’s mandated to start April 19.
At least one school district, Monadnock Regional School District, decided it was going to stick with its original target of May 3, WMUR-TV reported.
In Manchester, the district applied for a waiver, citing vaccine concerns for staff members and teachers and invoking federal requirements.
“A lot of our employees have (Americans with Disabilities Act) accommodations under federal guidelines,” Manchester Superintendent John Goldhardt said. “They are not allowed to come back until they’ve had their vaccination and have full immunity.”
Last week, Gov. Chris Sununu said all K-12 schools must return to full-time, in-person learning as of April 19, although a remote option will still available for parents and students that request it. Schools had already returned to offering in-person learning at least two days a week as of March 8.
Sununu said Thursday that if schools without waivers refuse to comply, the hours they spend on remote instruction won’t count toward the required number under state law.
With all appointments booked for this weekend’s mass vaccination site at the New Hampshire Motor Speedway, the state is opening three other sites for an extra day.
The Johnson and Johnson vaccine will be available Sunday at the state-run clinics in Concord, Newington and Salem. Appointments are required, and officials expect to administer 4,500 shots between 8 a.m. and 4 p.m.
Up to 12,000 people are expected to get vaccinated at the speedway, including Sununu, who plans to get his shot on Saturday.
More than 87,000 people have tested positive for the virus in New Hampshire, including 515 cases announced Thursday. One new death was announced, bringing the total to 1,251.
The seven-day rolling average of daily new cases in New Hampshire has risen over the past two weeks from 308 new cases per day on March 23 to 394 new cases per day on Tuesday.
Associated Press Writer Kathy McCormack contributed to this report.
This story has been corrected to show that the residency requirement for vaccines will be lifted Monday, April 19, not April 12.
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