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Connecticut Leads New England On Opening Up Vaccines To Everyone 16 And Older

UMass Medical School student Timothy Winn prepares doses of the Moderna COVID-19 vaccine at the Hotel Grace homeless shelter in Worcester.
Jesse Costa
UMass Medical School student Timothy Winn prepares doses of the Moderna COVID-19 vaccine at the Hotel Grace homeless shelter in Worcester.

All residents 16 and over will be eligible for the COVID-19 vaccine fairly soon in New England, but the date varies by state.

Among the six New England states, Connecticut will be the first to allow everyone 16 and older to get vaccinated. They can get a shot starting April 1.

"We originally thought April 5 would be a day that we could open the door, open the aperture for everybody regardless of age, to be able to make their appointment for a vaccine," Lamont said at a news conference last week, according to The Connecticut Mirror. "We’re going to move that forward a few days to April 1."

Those 16 sixteen and over in New Hampshire can register starting the next day, but Governor John Sununu said out-of-state college students aren't eligible.

"If you're a resident of Colorado but you're going to school here — no, you cannot get the vaccine," Sununu said at a March 25 press conference. "You can go to Colorado and get the vaccine for Colorado residents."

Some officials in towns with large numbers of college students are questioning the move, according to New Hampshire Public Radio.

Out-of-state camp counselors already are eligible to get the vaccine in New Hampshire. 

Four other New England states have set April 19 for when the door for vaccines opens wide.

All adults and older teens in Massachusetts and Maine will be eligible for a shot that day, if they can get an appointment.

On that same day, Vermont and Rhode Island residents 16 and up can start registering, according to officials. A representative with the Rhode Island Department of Health said the first appointments to get a shot for those who sign up then should be two or three days later.

Among the New England states, Rhode Island currently has the highest percentage of fully vaccinated residents at nearly 20% of its total population. Connecticut and Maine are close behind at nearly 19%.

A little over 18% of Massachusetts residents have been fully vaccinated, followed closely behind by Vermont and New Hampshire at almost 17%.

All New England states are above the national average, which the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention puts at 15.8%.

Residents who are considered fully vaccinated have received two doses of either the Moderna or Pfizer vaccines, or the single-shot Johnson & Johnson vaccine.

Before joining New England Public Media, Alden was a producer for the CBS NEWS program 60 Minutes. In that role, he covered topics ranging from art, music and medicine to business, education and politics.
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