HEAT ALERT

Heat advisory issued for Long Island through 9 p.m. Wednesday.

Vaccine vacation: Shot-seekers head to other states in hope of appointment

The data News 12 compiled is the first-of-its-kind database in the country that tracks the travel of vaccine-seekers nationwide.

News 12 Staff

Mar 4, 2021, 11:37 PM

Updated 1,229 days ago

Share:

The crushing demand for the COVID-19 vaccine is leading to a new type of tourism, with many people across the tri-state traveling to other states in the hope of securing a shot.
Flight attendant William Foxx left Westchester earlier this month for Chicago where's he's considered an essential worker - and there is no residency requirement.
DATA: Searchable table of state requirements in the U.S. (list also available at bottom of article)
He said it was frustrating that he couldn't get an appointment in New York, so he got an appointment through Walgreens and secured an appointment at a Chicago location. He flew there to get his shot - no questions asked.
SEARCH FOR A CURE: COVID-19 Data and Resources
He's not the only one. Dick Parsons, the former CEO of Time Warner, recently announced on national television that he also left New York to get his shot in Florida. 
So where are people having the most luck getting the vaccine? New York state isn't keeping tabs on that data, so the Team 12 Investigates team reached out to every health department in all 50 states.
The data News 12 compiled is the first-of-its-kind database that tracks the travel of vaccine-seekers nationwide. 
We found that 30 states have residency requirements like New York - meaning that people have to live there, own a second home or in some cases, work in the state to become eligible. Twenty states have no requirements, including places like North Carolina, Nevada and Colorado. Our team found that the states with the biggest numbers of vaccine tourism so far have been Pennsylvania and Florida.
Patients' home addresses are not being shared, but our database shows that many Americans have crossed states lines to get vaccinated since January, proving "vaccine tourism" is booming.  
Is that a good thing or a bad thing having New Yorkers leaving to go out of state to get their vaccines?
"I'm not sure what's available to them elsewhere. We want to make sure we're being equitable in our distribution of vaccines in our own state so if New Yorkers figure out another plan, we're not involved in that," says Lt. Gov. of New York Kathy Hochul.
Whether it's legal or not, some doctors caution that a trip across state lines right now is not without risk.
They say traveling itself is a risk factor for acquiring COVID-19 and that people may bring back the virus from the places they visited.

Which states have residency requirements?

  1. Alabama - No residency required.
  2. Alaska - Has residency requirements but is open to people who work in the state. Will ask for proof of employment.
  3. Arizona - No residency required.
  4. Arkansas - Open to people who work in the state.
  5. California - No residency required.
  6. Colorado - No residency required.
  7. Connecticut - Open to people who live out of state but work in the state. Must show proof.
  8. Delaware - Open to people who live out of state but work in the state. Must show proof.
  9. Florida - Open to people who own a property or work in the state. Must show proof
  10. Georgia - Open to people who live part-time in the state and live out of state but work in the state. Must show proof.
  11. Hawaii - Has residency requirements, includes part-time residents and "snowbirds."
  12. Idaho - Requires proof of residency or work in the state in order to get vaccine.
  13. Illinois - Has residency requirements but includes part-time residents.
  14. Indiana - Has residency requirements but is open to people who work in the state. Will ask for proof of employment.
  15. Iowa - No residency required.
  16. Kansas - Residency required, determined on county-by-county basis.
  17. Kentucky - Has residency requirements with exceptions for out-of-state nurses who work in state.
  18. Louisiana - No residency required.
  19. Maine - Residency required - must be a Maine resident or work in the state. Proof is required.
  20. Maryland - No residency required.
  21. Massachusetts - Open to people who live or work in the state. 
  22. Michigan - No residency required.
  23. Minnesota - Residency required. Employees who live out of state must set up a vaccine through their employer.
  24. Mississippi - Has residency requirements, but open to residents and people who live out of state and work in state such as nurses.
  25. Missouri - No residency required.
  26. Montana - No residency requirements, but it’s a decentralized state so counties may ask for proof of residency.
  27. Nebraska - Residency required.
  28. Nevada - No residency required.
  29. New Hampshire - Will drop residency requirement April 19.
  30. New Jersey - Residency required but is open to people who work or go to school in the state.
  31. New Mexico - No residency required.
  32. New York - Residency required.
  33. North Carolina - No residency required.
  34. North Dakota - No residency required. 
  35. Ohio - No residency required.
  36. Oklahoma - No residency required.
  37. Oregon - Residency required but open to people who work or attend school in the state.
  38. Pennsylvania - No residency required.
  39. Rhode Island - Residency required but also open to people who work or go to school in the state.
  40. South Carolina - No residency required
  41. South Dakota - Residency requirements for now until the vaccine is widespread.
  42. Tennessee - No residency required
  43. Texas - No residency required
  44. Utah - Residency required.
  45. Vermont - Residency required but also open to people who work in the state.
  46. Virginia - No residency required.
  47. Washington - Residency required but also open to people who work in state.
  48. West Virginia - Residency required but also open to people who work in the state.
  49. Wisconsin - Residency required but also open to people who work and study in the state.
  50. Wyoming - No residency required.


More from News 12