U of Vermont Medical Center: 93% comply with vaccine mandate
The University of Vermont Medical Center says 93% of its nearly 15,000 workers at its facilities in Vermont and upstate New York have complied with the requirement they be vaccinated against COVID-19.
Three employees resigned rather than comply with the vaccine requirement that took effect on Friday, Medical Center spokesperson Neal Goswami said.
The hospital system announced its policy in August.
Goswami said about 250 employees are not vaccinated and will be tested weekly and 250 or so employees are partially vaccinated and will be tested until they are fully vaccinated.
Another 250 employees have yet to confirm whether they will choose weekly testing, vaccination or have not submitted their vaccine documentation.
“We have received 12 requests for religious exemption and are reviewing them carefully,” Goswami said.
All eligible groups can now sign up to get a Pfizer booster shot against COVID-19 in Vermont.
Registration opened Friday for people 65 and older and for those ages 18 to 64 with underlying medical conditions that put them at risk for severe illness with COVID-19 or who are more likely to be exposed to the virus because of where they work. Registration is also open for people ages 18 and older who are Black, indigenous, or a person of color or live with someone who is.
“We know vaccines are safe and effective, and these additional doses add even more protection. So, I encourage anyone who is eligible to register for your booster today,” Gov. Phil Scott said in a statement. “At the same time, we continue to urge those who have not yet gotten their first dose to get vaccinated. The data shows we are now in a pandemic of the unvaccinated, and vaccines are the best way to protect yourself, friends and family, and to make sure we continue moving forward from the pandemic.”
Last week, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention endorsed booster shots for millions of older or otherwise vulnerable Americans six months after receiving their second dose of the Pfizer vaccine.
Booster shots are available where Pfizer vaccines are offered, including at a Health Department clinic, pharmacy or health care provider, state officials said. People must make an appointment to get a shot at a state clinic and are asked to bring their vaccine cards with them. Information can be found on the Vermont Health Department website.
More than 4,700 people in Vermont have registered through the state system for a third Pfizer shot as of Friday morning, the governor’s office said.
On Friday, the Vermont Department of Health reported 189 new cases of the coronavirus, bringing the statewide total since the pandemic began to more than 33,850.
There were 48 people hospitalized with COVID-19, including 10 in intensive care.
There have been a total of 318 deaths.
The seven-day rolling average of daily new cases in Vermont decreased over the past two weeks, going from 190.57 new cases per day on Sept. 15 to 184.86 new cases per day on Sept. 29.
The seven-day rolling average of daily deaths in Vermont has risen over the past two weeks from 1.57 deaths per day on Sept. 15 to 2.29 deaths per day on Sept. 29.
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 U.S.
AP reporter Lisa Rathke contributed to this report.