Vermonters aged 65 and older can now make appointments to get their COVID-19 vaccinations at Walgreens pharmacies, the Vermont Department of Health said Thursday.
Walgreens received an unexpected 4,300 first doses of the vaccine for Vermonters through the Federal Retail Pharmacy Program, the state said.
So starting Thursday, Vermonters aged 65 and over can sign up to be vaccinated. People can sign up online or call Walgreens.
The Health Department announced earlier this week that Vermonters aged 65 and over will be able to begin making vaccination appointments on March 1.
The Walgreens appointments come in addition to the appointments that newly eligible Vermonters can begin to make on Monday.
Two Vermonters died of COVID-19 over the past day, the Vermont Department of Health reported Thursday. The state’s death toll is now 203.
Twenty-eight Vermonters are hospitalized with the disease, and 11 of those patients are in intensive care units.
The health department reported 66 new cases of COVID-19 in Vermont on Thursday. The new cumulative total is 14,840, which is 72 higher than Wednesday's total.
Eleven of Vermont’s 14 counties reported new cases over the past day. Chittenden County had 18; Franklin County had eight; Rutland County had seven; Addison, Windham and Windsor counties each had six; Bennington County had five; Orange County had four; Grand Isle County had three; Lamoille County had two; and Washington County had one. Caledonia, Essex and Orleans counties had no new cases.
Bennington County continues to have the highest infection rate of COVID-19 in Vermont, at 395.4 cases per 10,000 residents since the beginning of the pandemic. Chittenden County is second, at 290.2, while the rate in Windham County is 221.3.
Bennington County has reported 151 new cases over the past two weeks, and Windham County has reported 87. Chittenden County, Vermont’s largest county, has had 468 over the same period.
So far, 327,769 people have been tested. The reported statewide seven-day average for positive tests has edged up to 1.6 percent.
The number of Vermonters reported to have recovered from COVID-19 rose by 137 since Wednesday, to 12,135.
As of Monday, numbers for monitoring are no longer reported on the dashboard. The health department said it is continuing to internally track travelers and contacts monitored, and people who have completed monitoring.
The statistics supplied by the Vermont Department of Health at midday each day are accurate as of the end of the previous day. The information is preliminary and subject to change.
STATE: 17.1% OF ALL VERMONTERS NOW VACCINATED
The Vermont Department of Health reported Thursday that 94,949 Vermonters have received at least one dose of a COVID-19 vaccine. That represents 17.1 percent of all Vermonters over the age of 16, an increase of four-tenths of a percentage point from Wednesday.
The figure is 18.6 percent for Bennington County, and 15.0 percent for Windham County.
So far, the state has received 193,800 doses of vaccine, 143,800 of which have been administered.
RUTLAND WON'T REQUIRE FIREFIGHTERS TO GET VACCINE
Rutland firefighters won't be required to be vaccinated against the virus that causes COVID-19, town officials decided.
The town board of health voted earlier this month to not require members of the town fire department to be vaccinated, although if they wish to participate in fire department activities, they must follow safety protocols as outlined by the fire chief.
Selectman John Paul Faignant, who is also the town health officer, tells the Rutland Herald the majority of the department's members have been vaccinated.
"I know the ones that haven't, they all have pretty good reasons," he said.
Members who opt not to get the vaccine must follow extra safety measures, such as temperature checks and signing in when they go to the station, he said.