University of New Hampshire (UNH) Police Chief Paul Dean and Health & Wellness Medical Director Peter Degnan announced in an email on Wednesday that all members of the UNH community who have not received their first dose of the coronavirus (COVID-19) vaccine can do so at the Whittemore Center Arena on Monday, April 19.
“The vaccine is available to any member of the UNH community regardless of permanent residency and including those not in the university’s testing program,” the email said.
This announcement comes after Gov. Chris Sununu reversed his controversial decision to withhold COVID-19 vaccinations from out-of-state student. Sununu received backlash from university leaders, students and town administrators throughout the state, as well as Durham Town Administrator Todd Selig, asking him to reconsider his decision.
The university held two days of vaccination points of dispensing (PODs) on April 7 and 8 for members of the UNH community who were eligible and plan to do the same on April 19 from 10 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. for those who did not receive or were not eligible to receive the vaccine during the first clinic.
Despite Sununu’s original reasoning to withhold the vaccine from out-of-state students because of them not being in the state long enough to receive their second dose of the vaccine before the end of the academic year, the second dose of the vaccine for those who receive it on Monday will be dispensed on May 14, the first day of final exams.
Students who received the first dose of the vaccine on April 7 and 8 will continue to receive their second dose on May 6 and 7 as planned, however the hours of vaccine dispensing have been shortened to 8 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. opposed to the original 8 a.m. to 8 p.m. For community members scheduled after 4:30 p.m., the email said “please plan to get the second vaccine (May 6 for Pfizer, May 7 for Moderna) any time between 8 a.m. and 4:30 p.m.”
For those who are unable to attend the vaccine clinic on May 14 for their second dose, Dean advised to go to the state’s vaccine registration system, VINI, to register for another date and location after receiving the first dose.
The email to the community also highlighted that doses of the vaccine are limited, so to register for an appointment using the link provided in the email as soon as possible.
The email concluded by thanking those who have already received their first or both doses of the vaccine and stating that a decision to require the vaccine at the university has not been made.
“If full approval of the vaccines is granted by the FDA, the University System of New Hampshire, in consultation with its board of trustees and the N.H. Department of Health and Human Services, will make a final decision about whether the vaccine will be required for students,” the email said.
Photo courtesy of WMUR.