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The Dartmouth
April 20, 2024 | Latest Issue
The Dartmouth

College and state announce partnership to vaccinate eligible students, staff

Those registered by the College will receive their shots starting March 23.

JC Penney vaccination site in West Lebanon

The vaccination site in West Lebanon is one of 20 across the state. 

Dartmouth will begin a partnership with the state of New Hampshire to help facilitate the scheduling of COVID-19 vaccinations for some College employees and students, COVID-19 task force co-chairs Lisa Adams and Josh Keniston announced in an email to campus Friday. The vaccines will be administered at a state-run vaccination site at the former J.C. Penney in West Lebanon beginning on Tuesday. 

As a large local employer, Dartmouth will provide administrative support in the scheduling of vaccination appointments that will make the overall process “simpler,” according to College spokesperson Diana Lawrence. 

In line with New Hampshire’s COVID-19 vaccination plan, appointments will be available to all Dartmouth students and staff who are New Hampshire residents and qualify for the state’s 2A or 2B vaccine phases. Those eligible under phase 2A include the staff of K-12 schools, licensed child care facilities and licensed youth camps. Phase 2B covers people between 50 and 64 years old. 

Students do not have to be enrolled in classes to participate in the College’s partnership with the state, but they must be residents of New Hampshire, a category that includes those who live in campus residences. 

According to New Hampshire’s COVID-19 vaccination plan, roughly 275,000 of the state’s 1.36 million residents will be vaccinated during phases 2A and 2B. Meanwhile, the roughly 435,000 residents who qualified for phases 1A and 1B, including high-risk health workers, people over the age of 65 and the medically vulnerable, will remain eligible for vaccination appointments if they have yet to receive their shots. 

New Hampshire began vaccinating residents who qualified for phase 2A on Thursday, carrying out these vaccinations at state-managed sites. Residents who qualify for phase 2B will begin receiving their vaccinations on March 25. 

To register for an appointment, students who qualify for the vaccine must contact Dick’s House, and eligible staff are to contact Occupational Medicine, the College’s division that focuses on work-related health issues. Occupational Medicine will be sending a survey via email to any students or staff who qualify due to their age that must be completed in order to schedule an appointment. 

The appointments are not available to students or staff who live in Vermont. However, the state of Vermont announced Friday that all Vermont residents age 16 and older will be eligible to register for a vaccine on April 19, while Vermont residents aged 60 and over can register starting on March 25.

New Hampshire Gov. Chris Sununu said Thursday that New Hampshire is just “weeks away” from opening vaccination eligibility to every adult citizen. 

The email sent to campus also indicated that new College guidance for vaccinated students and staff is expected in early April. According to Lawrence, the COVID-19 task force is “discussing how [the College’s] policies can accommodate greater flexibility for vaccinated students and employees while maintaining the health and safety of others in our community.”