Phase II of the vaccination rollout in Vermont is off to a strong start, with more than 20,000 Vermonters age 75 or older able to make an appointment online on Monday.
“It took me maybe five minutes and that was it,” said Swanton, Vermont resident Pamela Rushlow.
Rushlow said she had a smooth experience helping register her mother, who turns 85 next month. She says it helps to have your information handy and to watch the step-by-step video on the Health Department’s website.
“I just got my mom on the phone and wrote down the information beforehand,” said Rushlow.
Deputy Health Commissioner Kelly Dougherty says while there were instances of glitches and longer than ideal wait times, she was thrilled to see more than 30% of the eligible age bracket already book their appointment.
“We are very pleased with the way things have gone and are really grateful that there’s so much interest in people getting vaccinated,” said Dougherty.
Vermont’s second vaccine phase comes as the state has seen more people vaccinated than infected by COVID-19, according to a statement released by the Vermont Association of Hospitals and Health Systems.
“I think the main reason that we have a greater percentage of Vermonters vaccinated than infected is really due to the fact that we kept infections really low in Vermont by virtue of following all the health guidelines, which we know is what helped keep people safe,” said Jeff Tieman, president and CEO of Vermont Association of Hospitals and Health Systems.
Dougherty says a 400-person call center is available for support and equipped with language interpreters. And, he Dougherty said, there will be plenty of openings for Phase II appointments.
“Even if people are having a difficult time getting through the registration system, either online or by phone, they can rest assure that there are sufficient appointments available for eligible Vermonters who are 75 and older,” said Dougherty.
The Phase II vaccinations will begin Wednesday at numerous locations around the state. Upon registering, Vermonters can choose where to get vaccinated.