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Vermonters 16 and older eligible for COVID vaccine Monday

Published: Apr. 19, 2021 at 5:30 AM EDT|Updated: Apr. 19, 2021 at 7:52 AM EDT
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BURLINGTON, Vt. (WCAX) - All Vermonters 16 and older are eligible for a COVID-19 vaccine starting Mon., April 19.

The group is more than 117,000 Vermonters, so it’s a large group.

One infectious disease specialist we talked with says for this younger age bracket, especially with COVID cases rising, this is a big day, but he still urges caution.

“This is terrific that we now have all age-eligible Vermonters who can now sign up for the vaccine, I certainly encourage all who are eligible to sign up for the vaccine if they haven’t yet, but again, just as a reminder, we still have a ways to go and until everyone gets fully vaccinated. Until we really see transmission reduce substantially, we are not out of the woods yet, so we still need to be cautious and mindful,” said Dr. Benjamin Lee with the UVM Children’s Hospital.

This age band also includes many young front-line workers. One we spoke with says he has been working through the entire pandemic in downtown Burlington, so the vaccine will also come with peace of mind.

“I won’t have to be scared of going in public anymore, and be scared of taking public transportation which I do, buses, planes, so that’s a closed space and yeah, I won’t have to be afraid anymore,” said Matt Scinto of Burlington.

A doctor at the Central Vermont Medical Center says with this last age band open, Vermont should be looking at their vaccination numbers with a sense of accomplishment and she says she urges young people to seek the vaccine

“We really have the possibility for the first time of seeing a large percentage of the population being fully vaccinated and getting to that herd immunity level that we need to in order to all be safer and to be able to start safely opening back up again,” said Dr. Anna Hankins at CVMC.

The governor is calling the vaccine Vermont’s ticket out of the pandemic and continues to encourage all Vermonters to get the shot who are eligible.

On Friday, Gov. Phil Scott opened registration early for Vermonters 16 to 18 years old, allowing them to sign up starting on Sat., April 17.

Vermonters can sign up on the state website or through a pharmacy like Walgreens, Kinney Drugs, CVS and Hannaford.

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