Nicole Dean, a registered nurse with Brattleboro Memorial Hospital, in Brattleboro, Vt., administers a COVID-19 vaccine to Ryan Moore during a vaccination clinic at the Brattleboro Fire Department's Central Station on Thursday, May 13, 2021. Credit: Kristopher Radder / The Brattleboro Reformer via AP

ST. JOHNSBURY, Vt. — Vaccination rates may be higher in border communities in northeastern Vermont than they appear because people living there could be getting their COVID-19 shots in New Hampshire, officials said.

Health Commissioner Dr. Mark Levine said one issue can be the ability to get complete data when Vermonters are being vaccinated elsewhere.

“We already know that Vermonters are crossing to New Hampshire and in fact in some cases we are encouraging it,” said Levine.

Vermont’s vaccine dashboard shows that 58 percent of eligible residents of Essex County have received at least one shot, the lowest figure in the state. As of Thursday, the statewide vaccination rate is 82.5 percent.

The Caledonian-Record reports the Vermont Health Department has worked with the Upper Connecticut Valley Hospital in Colebrook to vaccinate northern Essex County residents. Vermont has also partnered with New Hampshire to hold a drive-through vaccination clinic at the Lancaster fairgrounds.

“The question really is how many Vermonters have gotten vaccines that haven’t been reported to us through any kind of channel?” said Levine.