Press Release

Vax for ages 16 and up set for April 19

New guidance announced for bars and social clubs

Governor Phil Scott Friday, March 18 laid out the projected timeline for all remaining age bands, which will govern the state’s vaccination distribution process moving forward.

Based on the supply assurances from the federal government, the state aims to have all Vermonters who can be vaccinated to be fully immunized by the end of June.

Currently, all Vermonters age 65 and older, and those 16 and older with specified high risk health conditions are eligible. The State is also vaccinating staff within the education, public safety and healthcare systems. More than 161,000 Vermonters have already received at least one dose of vaccine, representing about 30% of the 16 and older population.

Starting Thursday, March 25 at 8:15 a.m., registration for vaccination appointments will open to those 60 years old and older. These newly eligible Vermonters can register online at healthvermont.gov/MyVaccine or by calling 855-722-7878. All Vermonters are encouraged to create an account ahead of time by going to healthvermont.gov/MyVaccine.

The remaining age bands will become eligible for registration on the following timeline:

Age        Registration Starts

60+        March 25            

50+        March 29                            

40+         April 5                  

30+        April 12                

16+        April 19                                 

“Our age banding approach has allowed us to first protect those at greatest risk of hospitalization and death, which is our top priority, and our approach has been effective. In fact, while we have one of the oldest populations in the country, we have among the highest percentage of people age 65 and older vaccinated,” said Governor Scott. “We continue to believe age banding is the most effective and fastest way to reach all Vermonters who want a vaccine.”

Officials emphasized that the age band start dates represent the date registration opens for each group. The length of the entire process will vary, but Vermonters can expect it to take up to two months from the time you register to the point where you are considered to be fully vaccinated. This includes the anticipated time between registration and the date of your first appointment, the time between the first and last dose, and the two weeks needed after a last dose for it to be at maximum effectiveness.

Health Commissioner Mark Levine, MD said the long-awaited reality of people being able to get their vaccine is the light at the end of the tunnel. At the same time, he cautioned Vermonters that with variant strains of the highly transmissible virus being identified in Vermont, prevention and testing must still be a priority.

“To really find our way out of this pandemic, along with registering for vaccination as soon as your age band opens, we must all continue to follow the very simple, but critically important guidance of masks, distancing and cautious travel,” said Dr. Levine. “This is the only way to stay ahead in the race. Through prevention, testing and vaccination, we can achieve a level of community immunity that will bring us out of this pandemic. We can cross the ‘public health finish line’ sooner, together.”

“Getting a vaccine is the single most important thing Vermonters can do to help move us forward and back to a sense of normalcy. I encourage all Vermonters to get a vaccine when they are eligible,” added Governor Scott.

The Governor also announced updates to COVID-19 guidance for bars and social clubs, like American Legions and VFWs. These establishments are being moved under the state’s restaurant guidance, which will allow them to reopen within that sector’s current restrictions. These include operating at 50% capacity, requiring patrons be seated at tables with a maximum of six per table, six feet of distance between parties, masking and more. Municipalities will be able to place more restrictions on these establishments in their jurisdictions.

To view the latest Work Safe Guidance, visit https://accd.vermont.gov/news/update-new-work-safe-additions-be-smart-stay-safe-order.

To learn more about vaccines, to set up an account, or to register when eligible, visit healthvermont.gov/MyVaccine.

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