Can New Yorkers Get COVID Vaccines in Connecticut or New Jersey?
With demand for the COVID-19 vaccine surpassing supply, some people are getting creative in finding a way to get immunized.
While New York encourages people to wait until the vaccine is available in their county, anxious Hudson Valley residents who are eligible for the shot have already started looking elsewhere. A neighbor of mine proudly announced this week that he had received the vaccine. But instead of getting it locally, he explained that he had traveled down to the Javits Center in New York City for the only available appointment.
Stories like this are not uncommon. Desperate for an end to the pandemic, Hudson Valley residents are getting creative when it comes to securing their appointment. While it seems perfectly legal to search nearby counties for available vaccines, can you visit another state to get your shot?
While yes, it is possible, it's probably a terrible idea. Unnecessarily traveling from state to state is discouraged because you'll inevitably come in contact with people from other regions, risking the further spread of the virus. And, since the whole idea of the vaccine is to stop transmission, taking a long road trip is counterproductive.
With that said, it still is technically possible to find an appointment in another state and get a vaccine, but it may be risky. In New Jersey, people who live, work or are being educated in the state can get the vaccine. Officials in the Garden State do not require any ID to get the vaccine, so those wishing to receive it are on the honor system.
The same thing goes for Connecticut. While vaccines are only supposed to be given out to residents or those working in the state, proof of residency is not required. However, just like in New Jersey, workers may ask you questions about your residence or place of employment. Lying to receive the vaccine is considered fraud.
While identification requirements in surrounding states may be lenient right now, you can bet that officials will crack down if residents from outside the state begin to cross the border just to get vaccinated. In Pennsylvania, the public is already required to show ID to prove age eligibility if they are getting the vaccine. It's likely that IDs will also be required to show residency if any questions arise.
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