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New England News

State Officials Urge Vermonters To Get Vaccinated

Vermont Statehouse
Pat Bradley/WAMC
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Vermont Statehouse (file)

At their COVID-19 briefing Friday, Vermont officials emphasized vaccinations as the key to meeting the state’s reopening goals.

As of Friday morning 360,200 Vermonters have been vaccinated. Of those 104,900 are first doses and 255,300 have received both doses.  Agency of Human Services Secretary Mike Smith said the state is working to make getting vaccinations as easy as possible. 

“Today we are opening registration and walk-in availability to anyone who lives out of state but works in Vermont regardless of their occupation," Smith said. "And a new age group may become eligible soon. Next week we hope to hear from the CDC regarding emergency use approval for the use of Pfizer vaccine for young people age 12 to 15. Upon approval we will begin registration for this age group immediately. We will offer school-based sites to make it more convenient for students and all these sites will be open to the public.”

Republican Governor Phil Scott said although nearly two-thirds of the state’s adults are vaccinated, more residents must sign up.  

“We need Vermonters who haven’t yet scheduled their appointments to do so if we’re going to meet our targets," Scott said. "Vaccines are our ticket out of this pandemic but it’s going to take everyone’s buy-in especially younger Vermonters. At this point we’re still on track to hit our vaccination targets for reopening but we really need those 18 to 30 to sign up to make sure we can continue moving forward. Vaccinations mean no more masks, larger gatherings, concerts, weddings. They mean full restaurants, breweries and theatres.  But we only get there if you sign up. Your state, your country and your communities are counting on you.”

Education Secretary Dan French clarified updated guidance issued this week for spring sports and mask use.  

“Student athletes participating in low contract and no contact school-based spring sports such as tennis, track and field, baseball and softball are no longer required to wear a mask as long as six feet of physical distance can be maintained," French said. "Student athletes participating in sports involving moderate contact or close proximity such as boys and girls lacrosse and ultimate Frisbee must continue to wear masks at all times during practice and game play. Spectators are not required to wear masks at outdoor school sports events as long as six feet of physical distance can be maintained from anyone outside of a single household. Spectators must wear a mask at all times while attending indoor school sports events.”

Governor Scott was asked if he had plans to visit his mother on Mother’s Day this weekend.

“I look at her strength, her courage, her attitude, her spiritual faith, her common sense, sense of humor, just her overall attitude," the governor said. "I’m very fortunate to still have my mom. I haven’t seen her for a year and a half and I certainly look forward to seeing her sometime very soon.”

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