Student painting in greenhouse

On Friday, March 19, Governor Scott announced a plan to vaccinate all Vermonters by July 1. This is heartening on many levels; it underscores that there is light at the end of the tunnel, and it demonstrates that our systems are aligning and increasing their efficiency. Currently, over 37% of Vermonters have received at least one dose of the vaccine, among the highest rates in the nation.

The order of vaccine distribution is set by the Vermont Department of Health. The state's COVID-19 website has a section dedicated to information about the vaccine, including a helpful FAQ page. This website also has a Getting the COVID-19 Vaccine information page showing population groups currently being vaccinated, as well as a dashboard with updates on the status of vaccine distribution in Vermont.

Currently, only residents of Vermont are eligible for vaccines, which includes current college students who intend to stay in Vermont over the summer. Individuals 16+ can schedule appointments beginning April 19. You can register prior to April 19th. Based on availability of the vaccine, Vermont expects to expand registration for COVID-19 vaccines to any college student on April 30th.

On March 30, Governor Scott announced that anyone who is 16 years or older and who identifies as Black, Indigenous, or a person of color (BIPOC), including anyone with Abenaki or other First Nations heritage, can sign up to get a vaccine beginning April 1. Members of households of BIPOC community members also are eligible at that time.

How to get a vaccine

  • Step 1: Register with the Vermont Department of Heath.
  • Step 2: Make an appointment. Log in at the upper right of this web page with the credentials you created during the registration process. There are four separate registration sites that are available to you. Registering at all four and continually checking for availability will improve your chances of getting an appointment.
    • Option 1—Make an appointment at one of the Vermont Department of Health clinic sites. Through the Vermont Department of Health site you can also make an appointment at Costco or Walmart.
    • Option 2—Make an appointment at Kinney Drugs, CVS, or Walgreens. Each pharmacy runs its own scheduling system so if you want to take advantage of these, you will need to separately register at each site.
    • Option 3—In the Burlington area, for people who identify as BIPOC, you may fill out the Burlington BIPOC COVID Vaccination form coordinated by the VT Racial Justice Alliance, The Black Perspective, the New Alpha Ministry Baptist Church, the UVM VT LEND Program and the Vermont Professionals of Color Network. If you prefer to schedule your appointment by phone, you can contact the Burlington Resource and Recovery Center at 802/755-7230.
    • Option 4—You can also make an appointment by calling the Vermont Department of Health call center at 855-722-7878.

Watch this helpful video about the vaccine registration and appointment-making process.

View additional information about the vaccine.

 

It is uplifting and encouraging to be communicating about the vaccine knowing that this will allow us to return to more normal operations. It’s important to note that, despite the progress in vaccine distribution, public health mitigation measures—including testing—need to remain in place while a large number of people in our community remain unvaccinated.

The progress of vaccine distribution raises questions regarding UVM policies and procedures. To help provide clarity in this time of vaccine distribution, details on UVM policies are outlined below.

  • A person is considered to be fully vaccinated two weeks (14 full days) after receiving their final vaccine dose. Fully vaccinated individuals should continue to follow all safety requirements—including wearing a face covering, maintaining physical distancing and washing your hands frequently. While data shows that the vaccine is highly effective at preventing illness in those who have been vaccinated, at this time it is not known how well it protects you from being infected or from transmitting the virus to others. 
  • The CDC recently announced guidance for fully vaccinated individuals. While these recommendations allow for increased interaction, especially with other fully vaccinated individuals, UVM’s requirements on campus—including testing and face coverings—remain unchanged. As more people are vaccinated, this may change.
  • Because all students in the College of Medicine have been vaccinated, special arrangements have been made for these students.
  • Face coverings: Members of the UVM community who have completed a full vaccine cycle are still required to follow UVM’s face covering guidance. Vaccinated individuals may still have the potential to transmit the virus to others; wearing a face covering reduces the risk to both the wearer and others around them. Regardless of vaccination status, you may remove your face covering while eating or drinking, provided that you are stationary and seated and you maintain a 6-foot distance from other people. Return your face covering to cover your nose and mouth as soon as possible after eating or drinking. If you are not seated or stationary, you should not be eating or drinking and must also keep your face covering on.
  • Social distancing: Even if you have completed a full vaccine cycle, you are still required to maintain distancing at all times. This includes maintaining 6-foot distances in dining halls, common areas, offices, conference rooms and classrooms.
  • COVID-19 testing: Students who have completed a full vaccine cycle are required to continue to test every 7 days (currently twice-weekly, at least through April 3) unless you have an approved testing exemption for other reasons. Employees, regardless of vaccine status, are encouraged to continue to test. As stated above, the vaccine protects you from illness, but at this time it is not known if it protects you from being infected and from infecting others.
  • Contact tracing and quarantine: If you have completed a full vaccine cycle and are subsequently identified as a close contact of someone who has tested positive, you do not need to quarantine.
  • Travel: If you are vaccinated, you do not need to quarantine to travel to Vermont or return to Vermont. UVM still limits employee work-related travel. Students who are fully vaccinated are still required to limit all travel out of state and within Vermont unless essential. Students who choose to travel out of state for nonessential reasons are in violation of the Green & Gold Promise.
  • Household gatherings—students: At this time, and given the current number of positives among our student population, UVM’s definition of a household remains the same even for those who have completed a full vaccine cycle. Households are not permitted to mix at this time. UVM’s definition is the following:

    The University of Vermont defines an on-campus household as an individual student’s residence hall room or a suite. For off-campus students, including those residing in Redstone Apartments and Lofts, a household is defined as a single housing unit (apartment or house) with single or multiple tenants.

    Catamounts, we’ve done an amazing job so far and better days are in sight. We’ll get there together!