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Vermont joins list of states allowing universal boosters for adults

Published: Nov. 17, 2021 at 11:09 AM EST|Updated: Nov. 17, 2021 at 7:21 PM EST
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MONTPELIER, Vt. (WCAX) - Vermont Wednesday joined a growing list of states that are now officially offering COVID booster shots to all adults over 18.

Governor Phil Scott said he is directing the Agency of Human Services to implement a universal booster program. The shots in Vermont had previously been available to those 65 and older as well as anyone who considered themselves at risk, but neither pharmacies nor state clinics had been checking.

“Over the last 30 days, in a time of increasing cases in the low-risk age groups, we’ve seen cases in those 65 and older decline by about 2.5%. This is evidence that boosters are working to both keep cases lower in the at-risk age groups and, by further protecting the most at risk, they reduce hospitalizations,” Governor Scott said in a statement. “At this point, we need to shift to getting everyone boosted to help reduce the disruption of higher cases and minimize transmission to at-risk Vermonters, particularly through the winter months.”

To make it easier to register, the state will now remove the long list of criteria. Walk-ins are also welcome at state-run vaccination clinics.

California made the first move to expand access last week and a number of other states including Colorado, New Mexico, Arkansas, and West Virginia quickly followed suit. The decision comes ahead of federal regulators, which are expected to weigh in this week.

Scott and health officials on Tuesday urged everyone over the age of 18 to get a booster to further benefit from the protection of serious illness and hospitalization from the virus. Vermont is leading the U.S. in the rate of boosters in those over 65.

Click here to sign up or call 855-722-7878.

As of Wednesday, Vermont health officials reported 245 new coronavirus cases for a total of 45,456. There have been a total of 398 deaths. The state’s percent positive seven-day average is 4.4%. A total of 531,775 people have been tested, and 38,015 have recovered.

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