BURLINGTON, Vt. (AP) — The Vermont Health Department is working with community groups around the state to help Vermonters experiencing homelessness get vaccinated against COVID-19.
A team from Community Health Centers of Burlington is helping to distribute the vaccine in Chittenden County, Vermont Public Radio reported.
On a recent day, the team arrived at the Committee On Temporary Shelter or COTS daystation around noon in an outreach van to give nine people their second Pfizer doses. They had a supply of Johnson & Johnson vaccines for walk-ins. They also go to motels housing people who are homeless during the pandemic.
CHCB runs the state's only homeless health program, giving medical services at no cost, VPR reported. Having relationships with the homeless community helps to get more people vaccinated, said Anna Lisa Reynolds, a CHCB nurse.
“Whenever you’re working with a community that has been disenfranchised or taken advantage of, passed to the side, that trust is paramount if you want people to have good health goals,” she said.
So far, they've vaccinated nearly 200 people, Reynolds said.
In other pandemic-related news:
The mayor of Vermont's largest city announced Thursday some upcoming walk-in opportunities to get the COVID-19 vaccine as he said Chittenden County becomes the first county in Vermont to reach the governor's goal of 80% of the eligible population vaccinated.
As of Tuesday, 79.9% of eligible people 12 years and older in Chittenden County and 77.2% of those eligible in Vermont had received at least one dose, he said.
“In order to bring this pandemic to an end, we need to keep pushing to reach young people, close racial disparities, and educate and persuade our neighbors and friends on the fence about vaccination," Burlington Mayor Miro Weinberger said in a written statement. Of the residents who have not yet been vaccinated, many are ready and willing – we will keep working hard to make it easy for them to attend a clinic."
Gov. Scott announced last Friday that if the state reaches 80% of the eligible population getting at least one dose, he will lift the remaining virus-related restrictions.
A pop-up clinic will be held Saturday at Burlington Farmer’s Market on Pine Street, and June 4 and 5 and June 11 and 12 in City Hall Park during Burlington’s Discover Jazz Festival. Another clinic will take place on June 19 near City Hall Park during the Burlington Juneteenth Celebration. The clinics will provide the one-dose Johnson & Johnson vaccine, Weinberger said.
THE NUMBERS Vermont reported 22 new COVID-19 cases on Thursday for a statewide total since the pandemic began of over 24,180 cases.
Ten people were currently hospitalized with three in intensive care, according to the Health Department.
The Associated Press is using data collected by Johns Hopkins University Center for Systems Science and Engineering to measure outbreak caseloads and deaths across the United States.
The seven-day rolling average of daily new cases in Vermont did not increase over the past two weeks, going from 57.71 new cases per day on May 11 to 24.86 new cases per day on Tuesday.