Can states restrict COVID vax to only its residents?

Yesterday’s “urging” by the HHS (aka. “the science”) for states to start vaccinating  all folks over 65 may soon make this question moot … but I gotta ask…

In a prior post, I asked: What do lawyers, prisoners and ‘the media” have in common?

The answer to that question: They all are ahead of vulnerable seniors in Maryland’s vax pecking order.


Earlier this week, neighboring DC opened up its vaccination program to all residents 65 and over.

Note the emphasis on the word “residents”.

So, I half-joked that  I (a Maryland resident) might have to move to DC to get a COVID vax shot sooner rather than later.


DC follows Florida which has been vaccinating seniors over 65 for weeks.

Note that the word “residents” doesn’t appear in the prior sentence.

Inadvertent omission?

Nope … it’s a mater of policy.

Florida’s legal logic: The vaccine supply is allocated by the federal government, so all taxpayers are entitled … not just Florida residents.

If folks meet the other criteria (e.g. over 65), they can be vaccinated regardless of residency.


That gets to my question: Who’s right — DC or Florida?

Can a state legally deny vaccine to non-residents who otherwise qualify?

I can’t find a definitive answer.

If you have one, let me know.

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