In the News
Major U.S. companies are lobbying in a scrum for early vaccine
The Washington Post

Companies across America — from Amazon and Uber to railroads and meatpacking plants — are lobbying states and the federal government to prioritize their workers for early immunization against the coronavirus amid limited supplies of the vaccine.

After front-line health-care workers and elderly people in nursing homes and assisted-living centers are immunized, the government within two months or so is expected to begin shipping vaccine to communities across America for those it has designated as essential workers.

A Centers for Disease Control and Prevention vaccine advisory group voted Sunday to recommend that grocery store workers, teachers, day-care staff, adults over 75 and other front-line workers who cannot work remotely should be the next to get the coronavirus vaccine, followed later by another large batch of essential workers and elderly people. The recommendations guide state authorities in deciding who should have priority to receive limited doses of vaccines made by Pfizer-BioNTech and Moderna.
Health Care Workers Celebrate Vaccine Marathon In Rutland

The Vermont Health Department says so far, more than 4,300 people have been vaccinated in the state.

The Rutland Regional Medical Center on Wednesday held a mass COVID vaccination event. Hundreds of people got the shot ahead of the holiday. And many of the workers treated it as a sort of celebration.

It has been a long year for health care workers, but the arrival of the Pfizer vaccine helped make spirits bright.

The RRMC COVID-19 Vaccine Team hosted a marathon clinic all day on Wednesday. Employees, first responders and home health care providers got their first doses of the Pfizer vaccine.
1,000 additional healthcare workers at Southwestern Vermont Medical Center will be vaccinated this week
News 10

A second round of the Pfizer-BioNTech COVID-19 vaccine is heading to Southwestern Vermont Medical Center on Monday.

250 SVMC healthcare workers received the vaccine last Wednesday, Dec. 16th. Dr. Trey Dobson, Chief Medical Officer of SVMC, says the hospital will be receiving doses of the vaccine weekly. 

“In general, the plan for Vermont is similar too many other states. SVMC is able to receive it directly from the manufacturer and the hospitals themselves will start off and get through majority of the healthcare workers,” says Dr. Dobson. 

Once vaccinated, masks still need to be worn. Dr. Dobson was one of the 250 healthcare workers who received the vaccine last week. “I still have to wear a mask. My risk is still actually high and people don’t understand that. My risk will still be high because they are not vaccinated. Once we get that population vaccinated, then the risk drops significantly,” he says.
‘Nothing but good news’: Gifford Medical Center vaccinates its first workers

When anesthesiologist Anthony Fazzone performed the state’s first intubation for a Covid patient last March, it felt like “the beginning of something really dark,” he said.

On Wednesday, Fazzone was part of a sunnier Covid first: He was one of the initial group of 20 frontline health care workers to receive the Pfizer Covid vaccine at Gifford Medical Center.

“This is nothing but good news,” he said, beaming, as he sat in a beige conference room in the basement of the Randolph hospital. “This is a real triumph of science.”

The initial Covid vaccine roll-out was the first of what will be dozens of regular inoculation clinics that Gifford will offer for its staff, and ultimately, for Central Vermont residents. The hospital received 110 of the Pfizer vaccines on Tuesday, just four days after Pfizer got approval from the FDA. Staff were offered the first batch on Tuesday as a trial run and the remaining 90 were to be administered on Friday. 
Vermont, like other states, to receive fewer vaccine doses than expected

Vermont officials learned Friday morning that the state will receive as many as 975 fewer doses of the Pfizer vaccine than they were expecting, Health Commissioner Mark Levine said Friday.

That’s about a 20% drop, Levine said at Gov. Phil Scott’s biweekly press conference on the Covid-19 crisis.

“I’ve been engaged with all of my colleagues in the regions who are reporting a 25% to 35% decrease in their allocation for next week,” Levine said. The state is expecting 5,850 doses.

“That doesn’t mean we won’t be getting all of the doses; that just means it won’t be coming when we expected,” said Levine.
Distribution Of COVID-19 Vaccine Continues In Vermont

Distribution of a COVID-19 vaccine is underway in Vermont. Hospitals have received their first doses and pharmacies are scheduled to begin clinics at long-term care facilities this week.

This hour, our weekly health update includes the latest vaccine news, along with more on the state's ongoing response to COVID-19.

Remembering Vermonters lost to Covid’s second wave

Vermont reported its 100th fatality from the coronavirus on Dec. 15, amid a wave of illness that’s proven to be deadlier then the first.

From March through May, 52 Vermonters lost their lives to Covid-19. The next five months passed quietly, with only three deaths reported through October.

But in November, the virus once again infected communities around the state, quickly spreading to nursing homes. Since then, 57 more have died.

Among them: Lorene Shepard, a mother of three who spent her final days in a hospital room with her husband of 65 years. Both were stricken with the virus. Tom Canavan, a lifelong Rutlander and father of four, who moved into a nursing facility just weeks before an outbreak there began. Ralph Swett, who established a general store in Brownington and led a local Abenaki clan. And Mary Pat Brown of Bristol, a nurse and mother of six, whose children pressed Gov. Phil Scott to remind Vermonters of the lives behind the statistics.
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