For Immediate Release: February 16, 2021
Latest Phase in Vaccination Efforts Yields Overwhelming First Day Response
Vermonters age 70 and older make appointments by the thousands
BURLINGTON, VT – At 8:15 this morning, Vermonters age 70 to 74 were able to sign up and make appointments to receive their COVID-19 vaccine. In just the first 15 minutes the Health Department received more than 7,000 calls from people making appointments to be vaccinated – flooding the Department of Health’s call center and racking up the clicks at the department’s website. By 4:45 in the afternoon, around 18,800 people had signed up — nearly 57% of the 33,200 people eligible.
The State of Vermont started its COVID-19 vaccination program with people in the 1A group, including health care providers and emergency responders. The state then moved to age-group phases, beginning with people age 75 and older. Vaccinations began on January 27 for the nearly 50,000 people in that first age group. More than 33,500 people age 75 and older have made appointments, and another 7,000 were already vaccinated as residents of long-term care facilities. Approximately 19,000 have received at least their first dose.
I couldn’t be more pleased with this response,” said Health Commissioner Mark Levine, MD. “Getting as many people vaccinated as quickly as possible is key to helping end this pandemic,” Dr. Levine said. “There are always bumps along the way, and I thank everyone for their patience with any wait times and technical issues, but mostly for your support for vaccination and commitment to protecting your health and those of the people around you.”
Health Department vaccination sites are available around the state. Dr. Levine said the department’s local health staff, as well as the support of state agencies and health care partners, have been essential to this effort. The state also announced last week that Walgreens has joined Kinney Drugs as participants, providing vaccinations as part of the federal pharmacy partnership program.
Eligible Vermonters can sign up and make an appointment to be vaccinated by visiting healthvermont.gov/MyVaccine. Anyone who is unable to make their appointment online, needs help signing up, or who needs to speak with someone in a language other than English can call 855-722-7878. The call center is open Monday to Friday 8:15 a.m. – 5:30 p.m. and Saturday and Sunday 10:00 a.m. – 3:00 p.m.
The department also encourages everyone – even if they are not yet eligible to be vaccinated – to prepare ahead of time for when it’s their group’s turn. By going to healthvermont.gov/MyVaccine and creating an account now, you will be able to simply log in to make the appointment once you become eligible.
The Health Department will provide more information about registration for the next eligible groups when it is available.
Find answers to common questions and watch a video about how to make your appointment at healthvermont.gov/MyVaccine.
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