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Rutland hospital booster clinic looking for available arms

Published: Oct. 20, 2021 at 5:47 PM EDT
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RUTLAND, Vt. (WCAX) - The state is encouraging eligible Vermonters to get their COVID vaccine booster shot. Our Olivia Lyons spoke with some vaccine recipients at a clinic being held at the Rutland Regional Medical Center.

The Rutland Regional Medical Center is once again hosting vaccine clinics, but this time it’s for booster shots. “We had a great turn out the first few days of the VDH clinic that we were offering. We have also seen a great uptake from hospital employees,” said RRMC’s Saisha Branchaud.

The clinics are held Wednesdays through Saturdays from 7:30 am to 6 pm. The Pfizer shot clinic is open to anyone over 65 years old. Also eligible are 18 to 64 year-olds in high exposure jobs or with underlying health conditions putting them at higher risk of COVID complications.

“Boosters are very important because we have seen infections with COVID-19 increase as we are getting further away from our second dose,” Branchaud said.

The CDC has not yet released information about booster shots for those who received the Moderna or Johnson and Johnson vaccines. Officials are also discussing the possibility of mixing and matching different shot brands.

Branchaud says RRMC’s clinics are running smoothly. “Our population was highly vaccinated with Pfizer,” she said.

The hospital is prepared to give 172 shots each day. On Wednesday, about 60 patients were scheduled, but they expect to see more as the word gets out about the clinic.

Andrew Mackenzie of Killington was excited about his booster. “The case count right now is just so high, I don’t want to be around other people. I want to get my shot, I want to stay safe and I need to keep working,” he said.

The high case counts also concern Michael O’Brien. “I just want to be prepared for the wintertime and make sure that I have as much vaccine that is going to keep me healthy and safe,” he said.

And the clinic isn’t just for boosters. They are accepting anyone who needs a first or second dose, too. “There is significant parking, it’s easily accessible, we have lots of appointments available, so please go on to the VDH website and make your appointment. We are eager to see you,” Branchaud said.

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