Vermont isn't getting enough doses of the new COVID vaccine to meet demand
Every two weeks since mid-September, the Centers for Disease Control has told the Vermont Department of Health how many of the newly formulated COVID-19 vaccines they can send to the state. Then, the department distributes the shots to doctor’s offices across Vermont.
Since the process started, there haven’t been enough updated COVID-19 vaccines to go around.
“We're not able to meet all of the requests from provider practices,” said state epidemiologist Patsy Kelso. “We will over time, but we just don't have access to enough vaccine right now.”
So far, Vermont has received about 14,000 doses of the updated COVID-19 vaccine for kids under 12, and just over 13,000 doses for adults.
This is a new system of distributing COVID-19 vaccines since the federal government is no longer picking up the bill, where the state is working with insurance companies to supply vaccines to doctor’s offices at no cost to people under 65.
We're not able to meet all of the requests from provider practices. We will over time, but we just don't have access to enough vaccine right now.State epidemiologist Patsy Kelso
Pharmacies can get vaccines through a different process, by purchasing them directly from drug manufacturers or through separate federal programs, so they haven’t had the same limitations.
“There's generally a wide availability and access at pharmacies,” Kelso said.
But pharmacies in Vermont can’t administer vaccines to kids under 5. And not all insurance companies will cover the cost of a vaccine at pharmacies, including the Vermont Medicaid program Dr. Dynasaur, according to Kelso.
As of this week, about 4% of Vermonters under 18 have had the updated COVID-19 vaccine, and about 8% of the state overall.
The state will get its next allocation from the CDC on Nov. 6.
“We won’t know until then how many doses will be available,” Kelso said.
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