CONCORD, N.H. (AP) — Out-of-state college students may not be out of luck, after all, when it comes to getting the coronavirus vaccine in New Hampshire.

Gov. Chris Sununu said last week that only New Hampshire residents would be eligible for the vaccine when eligibility expands Friday to include anyone age 16 and over, and that out-of-state college students should return to their home states to get vaccinated. But the head of a nonprofit consortium that includes 21 public and private campuses said Wednesday it is working to change that.

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“The New Hampshire College and University Council has entered into discussions with the Governor’s Office to identify a timeframe for out of state students to be eligible for the state’s VINI registration program,” said Michele Perkins, chair of the council and president of New England College.

She said colleges recognized the need to prioritize New Hampshire residents, but as the vaccine process unfolds ahead of the original schedule, they are hopeful the state will offer the vaccine to all students who want it.

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The announcement came hours after Democratic lawmakers and college students held a news conference to object to the governor’s decision.

“Vaccinating the student population would save lives and livelihoods,” said Hannah Dunleavy, a student at Dartmouth College.

“Clearly, students at Dartmouth are contracting COVID-19 at high rates, and we risk spreading the virus to people in the town of Hanover if we don’t vaccinate students,” she said. “The virus doesn’t care if we live in New Hampshire nine months out of the year or all year round.”

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