People from all states, including those in New England, will soon be eligible to sign up for COVID-19 vaccination appointments in New Hampshire.
Gov. Chris Sununu announced Thursday that the Granite State will expand vaccine eligibility to people 16 and older regardless of residency, including college students, beginning on Monday, April 19.
There’s major support for the idea from Massachusetts residents who live on the border.
“If you can get a ride up there or drive up there, sure,” said Joe Monterisi of Haverhill.
“They go to New Hampshire for everything else, why not vaccines?” asked another Haverhill resident, Michael Smith.
Stella Burns has been working at EZ Way Cleaners for more than two decades. After a long, slow year, she's ready to take her mask off and enjoy her customers coming back into the store, she said.
“This isn’t the way it’s supposed to be,” Burns said. “The sooner everyone gets vaccinated, the sooner we can all get back to our lives.”
Sununu came under fire just last week for not allowing out-of-state college kids to be vaccinated, but now that the majority of Granite Staters have signed up for their shots and have another 10 days to be prioritized, it’s time to be a good neighbor, he said.
“We’ve just been fast about getting the vaccine out, we’ve been efficient with it, and we’re proud of that and because of those successes, we can open it up faster than most,” Sununu told NBC10 Boston on Friday.
He said he’s not concerned about there being a rush on the system from out-of-staters, and it appears New Hampshire residents aren’t either.
“I think there’s probably plenty to go around,” Plaistow resident Jyme Marcotte said.
“There seems to be more than adequate capacity to get the job done,” said Larry Faretta, who also lives in Plaistow.
In fact, whatever you need to get done, Sununu said you can do it in New Hampshire starting April 19.
“You can come up, place a bet on DraftKings on the Sox, stop in at a state liquor store, do some tax-free shopping and then get a vaccine. Sounds like a good day,” Sununu 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, Elizabeth Daley, chief of the state Bureau of Infectious Disease Control, said on Thursday.
Also Thursday, Sununu announced that New Hampshire residents will have an additional chance to to receive Johnson & Johnson's coronavirus vaccine this weekend.