Health authorities say that the Delta variant is far more contagious than previous strains of the virus, but that vaccines are still effective at preventing severe illness and death.
Vermont plans to stick with its current vaccination strategy, which a spokesperson for the governor called “a global model,” and focus instead on increasing access to vaccines.
Including all the pandemic-related federal aid that has flowed to businesses, residents and state government, a whopping $10 billion in extra federal cash has now found its way to Vermont.
The rise reflects the spread of the highly contagious Delta variant in the state.
In Vermont, more than 77,000 shots are still waiting to be used, 8,000 of which expire in about a month. But despite the slowing pace of vaccinations, the Department of Health said Thursday that officials believe no portion of the state’s vaccine allocation would go to waste.
“The rule is intended to extend any treatment of Covid diagnostic testing, treatment and prevention of Covid as a service which will be delivered at cost share to policyholders.”
Just under 64% of 12-15-year-olds and 72% of 16-17-year-olds have gotten at least one shot. Children under 12 are not yet eligible for the vaccine, and federal regulatory approval for shots in younger kids is not expected until well after the school year starts.
Some vaccine recipients develop Covid, but the protective power of the vaccines is evident.
David Sleigh, a lawyer in St. Johnsbury, has filed motions to dismiss criminal cases in Orleans County, which is still not open for jury trials, for more than 30 clients who have had charges pending since before the Covid-19 pandemic.
Students will be allowed to apply for medical or religious exemptions. The mandate will not extend to those attending school virtually.
Case counts have been increasing for the past two weeks in Vermont, though overall prevalence of the virus remains low.
A report issued Tuesday by the Vermont Department of Financial Regulation said BlueCross BlueShield of Vermont and Cigna must provide relief to some policyholders.
There are some unknowns, but fully vaccinated people are still well protected. Public health experts suggest holding off on booster shots for now.
I suggest we stop trying to change peoples’ minds about vaccinations and start respecting individuals’ decisions.