VERMONT LAUNCHES 12-15 BOOSTER EFFORTS
All Vermonters who received Pfizer vaccine can get a booster FIVE months after initial series
Montpelier, Vt. – Governor Phil Scott today announced that the State has opened registration for COVID-19 booster shots for children 12 to 15 years old, following approval by CDC Director Dr. Rochelle Walensky late Wednesday night.
This age group can receive their Pfizer booster as early as five months after their second Pfizer dose. Children ages 16 and 17 have already been eligible for a Pfizer booster but can now also get their booster shot as soon as five months after the second dose.
“As the nation confronts the highly transmissible Omicron variant, receiving a booster shot is critical, offering maximum protection and limiting disruptions we know the variant will cause,” said Governor Scott. “Vermonters have led the nation, rolling up their sleeves to protect themselves and others. It is critical for parents to continue leading the way by signing up their children as soon as they’re eligible.”
Health Commissioner Mark Levine, MD, said the more kids who receive their booster shots, the safer and healthier they will be. “I ask parents and caregivers to get their children boosted as soon as possible, to make sure they are fully protected against COVID-19,” Dr. Levine said. “This is how we can protect our children and each other and give them the chance to stay in school and just enjoy being kids.”
The new five month wait time for a booster shot also applies to anyone 18 and older who received the Pfizer vaccine. They can get a Pfizer or Moderna booster.
To make an appointment, parents and caregivers can go online effective immediately at healthvermont.gov/MyVaccine or by calling 855-722-7878.
Vermonters can also contact their health care provider or a local pharmacy to check about booster availability and scheduling, including: Costco, CVS, Hannaford, Kinney Drugs, Price Chopper/Market 32, Rite Aid, Shaw’s, Walgreens, and Walmart.
VERMONT TO PARTNER WITH NATIONAL INSTITUTES OF HEALTH TO ‘TEST’ ONLINE ORDERING & DELIVERY OF 500,000 RAPID COVID-19 TESTS
Vermonters should have clear expectations about the pilot project and available supplies
Montpelier, Vt. – Governor Phil Scott today announced that beginning next week the State of Vermont will use a program developed by the National Institutes of Health (NIH) to deliver 500,000 recently acquired rapid COVID-19 tests to households across the state.
The program will surge rapid tests into communities and serve as a pilot to help state officials assess a broader delivery model where residents order tests online and have them delivered to their home. This is similar to a system President Biden has said the federal government will use to make rapid tests more readily available later in the month of January, but this program is in addition to that federal effort.
“Rapid tests are an important tool, but Americans need to be able to get them easily, quickly and far more affordably. While we wait for more details on President Biden’s rapid testing initiative, we are considering ways to simplify and expand our state’s testing system,” said Governor Scott. “In the near future, we anticipate rapid tests will be readily available at every local pharmacy for lower prices. But we need to bridge the gap between where we are today and where things will be in the months ahead. That’s why we are partnering with the team at the National Institutes of Health to get these 500,000 tests into households throughout Vermont and ‘testing’ the effectiveness of this delivery model.”
Vermonters Should Have Clear Expectations: ‘This is a pilot project’
Governor Scott said Vermonters should have clear expectations about the goals and capacity of this pilot project.
“While our primary objective is to get tests into the field as efficiently as possible, we are also assessing how well the system works so we can continue to improve testing options and work with President Biden’s team to make future testing programs successful,” the Governor continued. “As with every new program, there are going to be unanticipated challenges, the number of kits each household can order will be limited, it could take up to a week for them to be delivered, and we expect that they will go very, very quickly.”
The Governor also said that this pilot project does not replace, and should not be used to supplement, the Test to Stay programs in schools, pre-schools, and childcare centers.
Interim Human Services Secretary Jenney Samuelson said rapid, self-administered tests give community members another way to help reduce the spread of COVID-19.
“It’s easy to perform these tests in the privacy of one’s home and have results within 10-15 minutes,” she said. “They are a very valuable tool and state and federal partners are working to making them more available and easier to get. As the Governor has noted, however, Vermonters need to have realistic expectations and know that we will use what we learn from this pilot project to inform future testing efforts and policies.”
About the Rapid Tests to be Provided
Rapid, self-administered testing can disrupt the spread of COVID-19 that occurs. The COVID-19 tests are authorized for use by the FDA, provided free of charge, and the entire testing process can be managed privately at home. The tests require a quick swab inside each nostril, and results can be read in just 10-15 minutes. A free, private, and easy-to-use mobile application is available to help individuals in every step of test taking and is not required to administer the test. The maker of the tests to be distributed, Quidel, is the same company that made the first rapid flu tests used by doctors’ offices in the United States.
The Say Yes! COVID Test initiative is a partnership with the National Institutes of Health, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, test manufacturer Quidel, and healthcare technology company CareEvolution.
Participating Vermonters will need to provide their name and address for test kit delivery, which will not be shared. No additional personal information will be required to get a free rapid test kit.
The State will announce additional details, and how to order, next week.