Vaccine Plans For Out Of State Students

VERMONT - With increasing covid infections, more vaccinations, and rapidly changing safety guidance it has all led to some confusion over whether out-of-state students attending Vermont colleges are eligible for vaccine clinics in Vermont.

 At this point, the Scott administration says any out of state college student, 16 and older who is planning to stay in Vermont for the summer can register for vaccine on April 19th. Students planning to head home at the end of the semester are currently not eligible.

"But at this point in time we want to make sure we take care of Vermonters first, as other states have done as well. Then, we will move onto the next phase if possible," Scott said during Tuesday's press conference.

If the vaccine rollout goes well and supplies are available, Governor Scott's administration says they might be able to open registration for out of state students on April 30th, before they return home for the summer.

Vermont's health commissioner Dr. Mark Levine says discussions are underway to determine the best way to get the vaccine to students.

"We have talked actively with all of the campuses around the state. Partnering with them to make sure the vaccine can get to them, as opposed to making students drive to some site where they might not even have cars to be able to drive to."

NVU out-of-state students, older than 16 with pre-existing conditions, or are black, indigenous, or people of color, were told they can register for a vaccine using their on-campus address. However, the rest of the out-of-students will have to wait until after the 30th, where Scott could potentially open up to students who are planning on returning home for the summer and do not fit into the category's that are currently opened.

"The state will vaccinate any college student 16 and older with a high-risk condition and that includes out of state students. They will also vaccinate any BIPOC student even if they are out of state. Said Jonathan Davis, Dean of Students at Northern Vermont University. "But certainly, we wish the decision was different. We want to be able to vaccinate all our students right now. We think that's the best thing for the state and the best thing the state can do for those students."

Further adjustments to Vermont's vaccine rollout plan and those who are eligible are constantly changing. Vermont will move to any Vermonter 30 and older to begin registration on Monday.