BURLINGTON, Vt. – Phase 2 of Vermont’s COVID-19 vaccination plan will begin Monday, when Vermonters 75 and older will be able to begin reserving appointments.
While the process will be overseen by State officials, Burlington Mayor Miro Weinberger said he’s been in constant contact with Health Commissioner Dr. Mark Levine and others about what residents should expect.
Appointments can be reserved either by phone or online, but people are being asked to do it online if possible. A reservation website and phone number will be released Monday by the Vermont Department of Health, and appointments slots will be filled on a first come, first serve basis.
“There will be enough slots for everyone 75 and older, although you may not receive the day or time you want,” Weinberger said Friday during a COVID-19 briefing.
Weinberger said he was assured by State officials that there will be multiple vaccination locations in the Burlington area, but they also won’t be announced until Monday.
It’s expected that Phase 2 of the vaccination plan could take over a month to complete based on the current rate in which the federal government is distributing vaccines. Weinberger expressed optimism that the timeline could be improved under the new Biden Administration.
Currently, Vermont is receiving 8,000 doses every week. There are roughly 50,000 Vermonters age 75 or older.
21 percent of the 75-plus population is located in Chittenden County, and the amount of doses the county is receiving will be proportional to that.
“The public can track the number of vaccines being distributed here in Chittenden County on a new page on our COVID-19 dashboard and on the city website,” Weinberger said. “We’re really trying to make all that information available to you to help us all manage our way through this and understand what’s going on.”
City officials also advocated for sites to be within walking distance of Burlington’s population centers. Weinberger has noted several times during recent COVID-19 briefings that roughly 15 percent of Burlington residents don’t own a vehicle.
He also emphasized the importance of clear and consistent outreach to the BIPOC community as the vaccine process continues.
Lastly, he said anyone with family members who are eligible for Phase 2 vaccination should reach out to them and ensure they are aware of how the process works, particularly if they aren’t accustomed to using the internet.