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COVID-19 Vaccine Communications Resources

American Hospital Association

The people working in hospitals and health systems are trusted sources of information. Answering questions, sharing personal reasons for getting vaccinated, and respecting concerns of those not yet ready to get their vaccine are all powerful ways the health care field can help end this pandemic.

Ongoing polling reflects the complicated reasoning behind those who aren’t yet vaccinated – from unanswered questions or lack of transportation to confusion about where vaccines are available. Below are resources to help the health care field support COVID vaccination efforts.
In the News
How 3 counties reached the highest COVID-19 vaccination rates in their states
ABC News

In Wyoming's Teton County, nearly 60% of residents are fully vaccinated -- almost double the statewide vaccination rate.

It's an effort that has been noticed in the state, which has one of the lowest vaccination rates in the country and where several counties have fewer than 30% of their population inoculated, state data shows.

"We have spoken to some of our other counties in Wyoming because they wanted to know what we were doing," Rachael Wheeler, the public health response coordinator at the Teton County Health Department, told ABC News.
Vermont Covid cases ticking up, but still low compared to
most states

Covid cases have steadily increased over the past two weeks in Vermont, from 35 in the week ending July 5 to 89 in the week ending July 19, according to data from the Department of Financial Regulation.

That indicates a concerning trend as the state braces for a wave of Delta variant-connected cases sweeping across the country. But the state is still performing well by many important metrics.

Vermont has the lowest rate of new cases in the nation, with 2 cases per 100,000 in the last seven days compared with 11 per 100,000 nationally. Hospitalizations remain low and are declining after a slight uptick in late June. So far, the state has reported only one death in July and is predicting a low number of deaths for the month as a whole.
Brattleboro Memorial Hospital opens combined COVID testing, vaccination center
Bennington Banner

With a high vaccination rate statewide and in the community, but wanting to remain ready for mass vaccinations in case a booster shot is needed in the near future, Brattleboro Memorial Hospital is shifting to a new model for COVID-19 services.

BMH opened the COVID Vaccination and Testing Center on Tuesday, moving the services for testing and vaccinations at the hospital to a combined unit attached to Brattleboro Family Medicine at 53 Fairview St. The transition is looked at as an intermediary phase before primary care physicians associated with the hospital start administering shots.

“We don’t think it’s best practice to go through primary care practices yet,” said Eilidh J. Pederson, chief operating officer at BMH.

Pederson described the transition to the new center as not being too extensive. She said signs had to be moved and workflows changed a bit.

Previously, testing happened behind the hospital’s Richards Building and vaccinations were administered in the hospital’s Brew Berry conference rooms.
How One Vt. Hospital System Is Preparing Primary Care Docs To Offer COVID Vaccines

When the COVID-19 vaccines were first being distributed, public health officials pleaded with residents not to call their primary care doctors for a shot. Instead, the state facilitated much of the initial vaccine rollout. But now, with more than 82% of Vermonters vaccinated and demand for vaccines falling, local doctors are increasingly taking on the work of getting shots into arms.

At a recent press conference, Gov. Phil Scott said more than 65% of primary care practices in Vermont say they plan to offer COVID-19 vaccines to their patients.

Henry Epp: So first, how are primary care offices are opting in to offer vaccines? What do they need to do there?

Barbara Quealy: In order to do so, they need to go through an enrollment process with the state. That includes working with the state to be sure that we have approved storage, transport and education and training for our nurses.
UVMMC submits conceptual CON to develop outpatient surgery center
Vermont Business Magazine

Advancing a long-term plan to address the evolving health care needs of patients in our region, the UVM Medical Center in Burlington has requested permission from the Green Mountain Care Board to begin planning a modern outpatient surgery center that would further its commitment to provide high quality care at the lowest cost, in a health care setting most appropriate for each patient. Through the filing of a Conceptual Certificate of Need (CON), the hospital seeks an expedited review following the reduction of available operating rooms resulting from the closure of the Fanny Allen outpatient location due to air quality issues.

Similar to the experience of health care providers across the country, UVM Health Network affiliates paused capital projects during the COVID-19 pandemic in order to invest in the immediate needs of patients and communities. These investments included updating patient rooms to safely care for COVID-19 patients, purchasing PPE to protect staff and patients, building and preparing surge locations and participating in unprecedented mass vaccination efforts.

While all of these efforts responded to the pressing needs of the community, the projects put on hold were those that remain critical to the sustainable provision of high-quality care.

Compromises outweigh campaign pledges in health care reform debate

From Texas Republicans to Northeast Democrats, just about every lawmaker argues health care in this country is in urgent need of reform. But, when it comes to writing a policy prescription, cross-party consensus remains hard to find though not necessarily impossible.

The Affordable Care Act is as stable as it’s ever been. It survived yet another Supreme Court challenge, pandemic relief funds lowered exchange plan costs, and enrollment is up and open through mid-August.

Christen Young, deputy director of the administration’s Domestic Policy Council for Health Care, highlights boosted subsidies and more than a million newly-covered Americans as substantial achievements for the President Joe Biden’s White House.

But, she noted more policy changes could deliver additional affordability and access. “There’s a lot of work to do across our priorities, we very much look forward to working with Congress,” she said.
Vermont says health insurers made "excess profits" in 2020, but may lose money in 2021
Burlington Free Press

Vermont's health insurers made "excess profits" in 2020 as a result of the pandemic, as non-essential medical and surgical procedures were postponed, but may lose money this year as patients return to hospitals, according to a report from the Department of Financial Regulation.

The report focused on the financial performance of BlueCross BlueShield of Vermont, MVP Health Group, the Vermont Education Health Initiative and Cigna throughout the pandemic.

"The pandemic caused severe disruption to our daily lives, including preventing Vermonters from seeking non-essential medical care at times, even though they continued to pay their health insurance premiums," DFR Commissioner Michael Pieciak said in a news release.
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