Also “open to” reduced insurance for unvaccinated
By Guy Page
Governor Phil Scott supports vaccine passports for bars and restaurants and his administration is “working on” getting more businesses to limit access to the vaccinated only, he said at his press conference today. He also opened the door to reducing insurance coverage for the unvaccinated.
Science shows that transmission is most likely to occur with the sort of sustained human contact of 10-15 minutes common in bars, Scott said. He said more restaurants across Vermont are insisting on proof of vaccination. “It’s like a vaccine passport,” Scott said. “It’s a step in the right direction. We’d like to see more businesses take that approach as well. We’re working on that.”
In opening remarks, Scott and other administration officials took aim at the relatively high rate of Covid-19 hospitalizations among the unvaccinated – 280/100,000 in the last six weeks, or 30 times higher than the fully vaxxed, according to state statistics.
Retiring Human Services Secretary Mike Smith signaled the administration’s impatience with unvaccinated Vermonters filling up hospital beds. “We are spending considerable amounts of money on people…who are vaccinated. It’s unfair for those who have done the right thing and now must pay” for those who haven’t, Smith said.
News 5 reporter Stewart Ledbetter asked whether unvaccinated Vermonters should receive diminished insurance coverage. “It’s a good question,” Scott said. “We’re looking at every avenue at coaching them. It should be a consideration, I guess. We haven’t talked about that,” and his administration is still working on educating non-vaccinated Vermonters.
Scott also noted that being “fully vaccinated” will soon include receiving the third booster shot – “it’s a matter of if, not when,” he said.
Scott also expressed concern that when – not if, in his opinion – any statewide mask mandate imposed by the Legislature next year fails, it will move on to even more restrictive measures, such as lockdowns. “What will they do next? They’ll move on to something more,” Scott said.
Scott unaware of possible vax passports at State House – Gov. Scott was asked by Vermont Daily Chronicle about the legislative recommendation to impose vaccine passports on lawmakers and legislative staff – and possibly others – under consideration at tomorrow’s Joint Rules committee.
“I think that is for them to decide,” Scott said. “I think of them as an employer.” But he added he is unaware of the proposal and expects to learn more tomorrow.