Vermonters 30 and over now eligible for COVID-19 vaccine

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FILE – In this Jan. 18, 2021, file photo, a vial of the Pfizer-BioNTech vaccine against COVID-19 is prepared at a vaccination center of the 3rd district, in Paris. Japan’s COVID-19 vaccinations are beginning Wednesday, Feb. 17, 2021, after the government granted belated first approval to a shot co-developed by Pfizer Inc. that the United States and many other countries started using two months ago.(AP Photo/Francois Mori, File)

Vermont is opening COVID-19 vaccines to those 30 and older.

The Vermont Health Department website will begin accepting appointments at 8:15 a.m. Monday. Next week, all adult Vermonters will be eligible to be vaccinated.

The presence of the virus in Vermont has been increasing in recent weeks. Officials say the state is in a race to vaccinate as many people as possible to help stop the spread.

Officials blame the increase on a number of more-transmissible variants of the virus that are being found in Vermont and among young people who are more socially active but not yet eligible to be vaccinated.

Even though more and more Vermonters are being vaccinated, officials are urging residents to remember the guidance that has helped the state maintain a relatively low rate of COVID-19 during the pandemic: Wear masks, maintain social distance and avoid large gatherings or crowded places.

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