Covid-19 updates, State News

Gov. Phil Scott orders ‘universal booster program’

On Nov. 17, Governor Phil Scott directed the Agency of Human Services to implement a universal booster program for Covid-19 vaccinations and is strongly encouraging every Vermonter over the age of 18 to get a Covid booster shot.

Anyone who has received the Johnson & Johnson vaccine is eligible two months after their first dose. Individuals who received a Pfizer or Moderna vaccine are eligible six months after completing their initial vaccination.

Vermont data shows boosters are already working to keep cases among the vulnerable populations lower, which can decrease pressure on local hospitals. About 50% of Vermonters over the age of 65 have received a booster.

“Over the last 30 days, in a time of increasing cases in the low-risk age groups, we’ve seen cases in those 65 and older decline by about 2.5%. This is evidence that boosters are working to both keep cases lower in the at-risk age groups and, by further protecting the most at risk, they reduce hospitalizations,” said Scott. “At this point, we need to shift to getting everyone boosted to help reduce the disruption of higher cases and minimize transmission to at-risk Vermonters, particularly through the winter months.”

To make getting boosted easier, the governor said online registration will be simplified and walk-ins are welcome at state-run vaccination clinics.

“We want to be clear: Everyone over age 18 should get a booster as soon as possible. If it has been six months since you received your Pfizer or Moderna vaccine, or two months since your Johnson and Johnson vaccine, please make registering for a booster a priority,” Scott added. “This will be the most important step you can take to help us get through this winter flu season and continue moving forward from pandemic to endemic.”

Vermonters can register for booster doses at healthvermont.gov/myvaccine or by calling 855-722-7878.

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