by Guy Page
Gov. Phil Scott reported at the opening of his press conference today that White House officials today told the nation’s governors that emergency use authorization (EUA) approval for a vaccine for children ages 2-11 is expected by mid-September.
Pediatric offices and other facilities may become vaccination sites for this age group, Agency of Human Services Secretary Mike Smith said.
Rollout and availability of this vaccine product will take longer than the EUA date, Scott said.
Scott also pleaded with unvaccinated Vermonters to heed yesterday’s Federal Drug Administration (FDA) final approval of the Pfizer Covid-19 vaccine. ““If you’ve been on the fence, I hope this news will inspire you,” he said. No new enforcement measures were introduced in connection with the FDA full approval. About 400 Vermonters are being vaccinated daily, administration statistics show.
“Today’s approval provides even more certainty that the vaccines are safe and effective, and we hope those eligible Vermonters who remain unvaccinated join the more the 85+% who have been protecting themselves,” Press Secretary Jason Maulucci said yesterday.
Booster shots for vaccinated Vermonters will begin as soon as September 20, among health care workers and senior care residents. Non-peer reviewed studies from Israel show a third dose of the Pfizer vaccine promises four times as much protection as two doses, Commissioner Mark Levine said. Israel has seen a very high incidence of breakthrough cases.
Regarding “breakthrough” cases, of the 420,000 vaccinated Vermonters, 915 have tested positive, 23 have been hospitalized, and 10 have died, according to the Vermont Department of Health vaccine “scoreboard.” In the last seven days, vaccinated breakthrough cases have risen 18%, non-vaccinated cases have risen 28%.
Vaccinated Vermonters are “highly protected” against vaccination, hospitalization, and death,” Levine claimed. “If we’re going to see cases in Vermont, we’re going to see it in vaccinated people, because almost the whole state is vaccinated.”
The administration also provided information on vaccination of students at 13 of Vermont’s 16 colleges and universities: 89.7 are vaccinated; 5.9% are unvaccinated and have no exemption; 1.4% have an exemption; 3% are unknown.
Outbreaks at senior care homes include: 25 at Maple Lane Nursing Home in Barton, 15 at Ethan Allen Residence in Burlington, 13 at Maple Ridge in Essex Junction, and nine at the Vermont Veterans’ Home in Bennington.
Nix on alternative therapies – Scott and Levine both nixed the suggestion of advocating for more use of ivermectin and monoclonal antibodies. “Take ivermectin off the table,” Levine said. And both men said monoclonal antibody clinics are only necessary in states at risk of running out of hospital beds – like Florida and Louisiana.
“They are in a tough position there,” Scott said. “They are opening up anything they can possibly open up. They are just throwing everything at the wall to see if it sticks. And they should.”