Vermonters can mix COVID vaccines at state-run clinics

Published: Nov. 1, 2021 at 5:53 PM EDT
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MONTPELIER, Vt. (WCAX) - Vermonters can now mix and match their COVID vaccines through state-run clinics. It started Monday.

The change comes as Vermont works to dole out as many booster shots as possible ahead of the holiday season.

Boosters work to build an immune response in people whose protection may be beginning to wane. Letting people choose a different one may help access.

Exactly 90% of eligible Vermonters have at least one dose of the vaccine.

Medical professionals say Pfizer and Moderna generate big immune responses when boosted with themselves or another vaccine.

The FDA’s decision to mix and match essentially gives people more flexibility and makes access easier.

“There’s been a bit of a pendulum swing back and forth. It’s great news that the vaccines are available. Delta makes it so they aren’t quite as powerful. I think this allows the pendulum to swing back and swing but the booster and the protection goes back up to high levels and that helps us feel safe when we’re going about trying to enjoy our lives,” said Dr. Tim Lahey of the UVM Medical Center.

Vermonters have been able to mix and match through pharmacies, but the signup for the state-run clinics just came online Monday, in part, because of how the state’s scheduling software works.

Some Vermonters with underlying conditions should talk with their doctors about which specific shot they should get.

If you received Moderna or Pfizer, you have to have had your second shot six months ago, be over 65, have underlying conditions or work in a high-risk setting.

If you got a Johnson & Johnson shot, you have to have received your vaccine at least two months ago and be over 18.

Experts say it’s too soon to know whether COVID booster shots will be needed annually like the flu shot. They say there are too many moving pieces right now to predict. There are questions of how and where the virus spreads, whether we see new variants and how vaccines are delivered globally.

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