Starting this past Monday, the coronavirus (COVID-19) vaccination site run by the state of New Hampshire located at Exeter High School has closed down and been moved to the Fox Run Mall in Newington, working out of the former Sears retail location. The vaccination site is one of 11 locations run by the New Hampshire National Guard and, in addition to the Dover vaccination site running out of the C&J Bus Lines, it is one of two locations in the Seacoast region. 

State officials have said that the move has come as part of “ongoing efforts to improve the efficiency of state vaccination sites.” National Guard Captain James Miller, who is in charge of the Newington vaccination site and former Exeter location has said that the move allows for greater efficiency in vaccinations as well as prevents issues arising from weather now that the location is fully indoors. 

Greater efficiency in vaccination sites is a chief concern of state officials especially in the coming weeks as signups for vaccination appointments have been gradually opening this week with all state residents 16 and up eligible to sign up starting Friday April 2nd. Despite all New Hampshire residents being eligible for the vaccine in the coming weeks, Gov. Chris Sununu has made it clear that out-of-state college students will not be eligible for the vaccine in the state. This decision comes much to the dismay of Durham town manager Todd Selig who has advocated for all UNH students to receive the vaccine given the high case numbers in Durham over the past few months.  

According to the NHDHHS state COVID-19 site, Durham currently has the third most active cases in the state at 76, only trailing Nashua and Manchester in positive case numbers. UNH currently has 116 active positive cases, 112 of which are among students, with a consistent rate of 10-20 new positive cases each testing day over the past month. 

Currently the state of New Hampshire ranks in the middle of the pack on the national stage  in terms of percentage of population vaccinated sitting at 30% – just above the national average of 29%. In-state college students can register for a vaccine appointment along with all other eligible residents 16 and up starting Friday at 8:00am using the state’s vaccine website at vaccines.nh.gov..

Photo courtesy of Dan Tuohy// NHPR.