- New Hampshire Gov. Chris Sununu’s decision to disqualify out-of-state baffles many observers, who fear public health repercussions.
- Even if some students attending higher institutions in New Hampshire don’t live there year-round, many work and travel within the state, pundits note.
- With the spring term ending soon, out-of-state and could spread the virus.
Sununu, a Republican, flatly declined duringto make out-of-state students eligible for a vaccine, arguing that they are becoming more widely available in other states. He also contended that because the academic year is almost over, those students would have trouble scheduling a administered several weeks apart.
New Hampshire is opening vaccination eligibility to residents ages 16 and up starting April 2.
The move to bar out-of-state students ranked officials on and off campuses. A former state epidemiologist lambasted Sununuon a local news website, asserting the decision was motivated by politics, not public health. “This virus does not know the difference between a student who is an NH resident and one who is a resident of another in one of our college towns,” the official wrote.
Leaders of some college towns have also disagreed with Sununu,to be vaccinated. Robert Kelchen, a higher ed professor at Seton Hall University in New Jersey, said he understood the governor’s logic of wanting to residents. But it could cause a problem of unvaccinated in New Hampshire continuing to spread the virus,” Kelchen said. Whether vaccinating out-of-state hail from other states.
Excluding them could complicate campus life, said Madeline Buitendorp, theCrisis Initiative, which tracks institutional responses to the pandemic. She questioned the fairness of the state , even though they’re likely to be participating in the same activities as other students. It could create tension if you have in-state students vaccinated but out-of-state ones not.
Buitendorp said. “Keeping track and enforcing safety measures is a lot harder. C2i’s founding director, Chris Marsicano, opinedfor NBC that states should give college students priority for vaccines. Not only do they travel often and in settings ripe for the virus to increase, such as dormitories, Marsicano wrote. Vaccinating college students sooner than later “will make them and the communities they visit safer — and allow colleges and universities to reopen for the fall to avoid disrupting more educations and local economies,” he wrote.