Health Care

Half a million Vermonters have received at least 1 dose of Covid-19 vaccine

Note: This story is more than a week old. Given how quickly the Covid-19 pandemic is evolving, we recommend that you read our latest coverage here.

In the midst of Vermont’s rapidly growing Covid-19 case totals and record-setting hospitalization levels, the state’s strategy to vaccinate all eligible Vermonters grinds on.

As of Monday, the Vermont Department of Health reported 500,700 Vermonters have received at least one dose of the Covid-19 vaccine. That represents about 84% of Vermonters age 5 and older. 

The U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, which compiles some data that Vermont’s health department does not collect, reported even higher totals: 520,000 Vermonters have received at least one dose, according to the feds.

Of those half-million Vermonters, about 457,000 of them, or 91%, have completed the initial vaccination process and nearly 200,000, or 40%, have received a booster dose, according to the health department.

About six weeks after children ages 5 to 11 became eligible for the first two doses of the Pfizer vaccine, 48% of that age group has started the vaccination process and 23% completed it, according to the data. That’s the lowest rate of any age group, including 12- to 17-year-olds, who have a vaccination starting rate of 80%.

Case counts

On Friday, Vermont set a new record for a one-day case total with 740 cases. 

[Looking for data on breakthrough cases? See our reporting on the latest available statistics.]

The department reported slightly lower numbers over the weekend: 265 cases on Saturday, 531 cases on Sunday and 238 cases on Monday. But the seven-day average of 423 cases per day remains far higher than it was a month ago, when the seven-day average was 370.

Vermont’s case rate is now No. 8 in the nation, The New York Times reported

Although the state does not publish the daily number of breakthrough cases — those in fully vaccinated people — data from the latest state press conferences shows that the risk of Covid cases and hospitalizations is far higher for unvaccinated Vermonters. 

As of last Tuesday, the unvaccinated case average was 5.1 times higher than the vaccinated one, state data shows, and the vast majority of hospitalized patients were unvaccinated. 

Seventy-seven people are currently in the hospital with the virus, including 19 in intensive care units, the department reported Monday.

The department disclosed three more deaths in its data, for a total of 432 deaths throughout the pandemic. Sixteen of those deaths have occurred so far in December.

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Erin Petenko

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