COVID-19 Vaccine Info for the Bennington Region

All Vermont residents age 12 or older can make a COVID-19 vaccine appointment, including college students from other states residing in Vermont and part-time residents. 

Vermont's call center (855-722-7878) is available 7-days per week for those unable to register online or need to speak with someone in a language other than English.

Vermonters who are 12 years and older, including part-time residents and students from other states attending college in Vermont.

The SVHC COVID-19 Community Clinic is located at the former Southern Vermont College gymnasium (Mountaineer Athletic Center). The street address for GPS directions is 982 Mansion Drive, Bennington.

You must have a scheduled appointment. No walk-ins are permitted. 

We are also collaborating with community organizations and other partners to make sure people who are disproportionately affected by COVID-19, including Black, Indigenous and people of color, have equitable access to the vaccine.

The Call Center is open 8:15 a.m. - 5:30 p.m. Monday - Friday and 10 a.m. - 3 p.m. Saturday - Sunday.

High call volume is expected, and we encourage to schedule your vaccine appointment online.

You will not be able to make an appointment by calling any other Health Department phone number. Please do not call your health care provider or hospital for vaccine appointments.

No one should forgo or delay registering to get vaccinated because they worry how they will get to the vaccination clinic or home again. Those who need a ride to their vaccination appointment can call 802-447-0477 or toll free 877-530-6116 right after you have obtained a scheduled vaccination appointment. The service will pick you up at home and bring you back home again.

People who use a home health agency and who are over 75 years old are the first group to receive vaccines at home. Doses have begun to be distributed to several Vermont counties already; distribution is expected to expand next week.

Once the roughly 2,000 Vermonters connected with home health services have been reached, the service will be expanded to include others in need. Numerous partners, including primary care providers, Agencies on Aging, and municipalities are currently discussing how best to identify the additional individuals and to create the second phase of outreach. Note that agencies are not collecting names or keeping lists of homebound residents at this time.

Translators are available at 855-722-7878 to help non-English speakers to make an appointment.

Vermont is using age groupings to determine who can receive the vaccine next based on our primary goal with vaccination efforts—to save lives. After those currently eligible, see above, we anticipate that the state will direct progressively younger groups to register and schedule. These phases will overlap. Based on what we know now about how much vaccine Vermont will get from the federal government, it will probably take until mid to late spring to finish these groups. This is an estimated plan and timeframe that could shift based on how much vaccine Vermont receives and how many people choose to get vaccinated when they are eligible.

People in Vermont who have certain high-risk health conditions are eligible now. These are medical conditions that put them at increased risk for severe illness from COVID-19 as identified by the CDC. These are:

  • Current cancer
  • Chronic kidney disease
  • COPD, also called emphysema
  • Heart conditions, such as heart failure, coronary artery disease, or cardiomyopathies
  • Immunocompromised state (weakened immune system)
  • Severe obesity
  • Pregnancy
  • Type 1 and Type 2 diabetes mellitus
  • Down Syndrome
  • Sickle cell disease

Three COVID-19 vaccines have received Emergency Use Authorization from the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA). Learn more about Emergency Use Authorization and watch a video on what an EUA is.

The Pfizer-BioNTech vaccine received an EUA on December 11, 2020. The Moderna vaccine received an EUA on December 18, 2020. The Johnson & Johnson vaccine received an EUA on February 28, 2021.

The Pfizer-BioNTech and Moderna vaccines have nearly identical rates of effectiveness (94% - 95%). Both vaccines require two doses over a similar timespan – 21 days between doses for Pfizer-BioNTech and 28 days for Moderna. Both are authorized for similar age groups. The Pfizer-BioNTech vaccine is authorized for people 16 years and older. The Moderna vaccine is authorized for people 18 years and older. Both vaccines are mRNA vaccines, which when introduced into the body, activate the body to produce “spike proteins,” which are displayed on the outside of the body’s cells, and create an immune response. Some participants in clinical trials for both vaccines showed a strong immune response, leading to side effects. The second shot may result in a stronger immune response than the first shot. This is a normal way that your body builds immunity to COVID-19. There have been no major adverse reactions. The main difference between the vaccines is storage temperature. Pfizer-BioNTech requires ultracold storage.

The Johnson & Johnson vaccine is authorized for those 18 and older and requires only one dose. Trials determined that the vaccine prevented serious illness, hospitalizations, and deaths and was 66% effective at preventing even mild illness. It is much easier to store and ship than the other two vaccines available.

Yes. Someone is fully vaccinated 2 weeks after their have received their final dose of vaccine. Those receiving the Johnson & Johnson vaccine are protected 2 weeks after their shot, as only one is required. Those receiving other vaccines must wait two weeks after their second dose. 

Even those who are fully vaccinated should continue taking steps to prevent COVID-19 when in public. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention recently released new guidance for people who have been vaccinated. Basically, it says that fully vaccinated people can:

  • Visit with other fully vaccinated people indoors without wearing masks or physical distancing
  • Visit with unvaccinated people from a single household who are at low risk for severe COVID-19 disease indoors without wearing masks or physical distancing
  • Refrain from quarantine and testing following a known exposure if asymptomatic

Yes. Years of research into vaccines have brought us to where we are today. Researchers began working on vaccines for earlier versions of the coronavirus starting with Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome (SARS) 2003 and Middle East Respiratory Syndrome (MERS) in 2012. When these viruses disappeared, interest in finding a coronavirus vaccine decreased. Lessons learned from this earlier vaccine research have been used to inform strategies for developing a COVID-19 vaccine. Now the global focus on eliminating this new coronavirus and ending the pandemic, combined with funding has helped speed up the research process to create a safe and effective vaccine. 

The Pfizer-BioNTech vaccine, the Moderna vaccine, and the Johnson & Johnson vaccine have all received Emergency Use Authorization from U.S. Food and Drug Administration.

STEP 1: VACCINE SAFETY

With a brand new vaccine, researchers give it to a small number of volunteers — usually 20 to 100 — to test for any serious side effects. This step also helps determine the right dose or amount of vaccine to use.

STEP 2: VACCINE EFFECTIVENESS

Once they know a vaccine isn’t likely to cause any serious side effects, researchers then give it to hundreds of people to determine how well the vaccine works (or its effectiveness). Researchers continue to monitor for any short-term side effects.

STEP 3: DOUBLE CHECK SAFETY & EFFECTIVENESS

This is the last step before researchers can apply for approval from the FDA and begin to use it. To make sure the vaccine is safe and effective for people across ages, ethnicities, genders, and other factors, they give it to tens of thousands of people. This uncovers less common side effects and confirms once again that it’s safe and works well for everyone.

STEP 4: CONTINUE TO CHECK SAFETY & EFFECTIVENESS:

Even after researchers have answered the big questions, they keep studying the vaccine. They gather longer-term data to make sure the vaccine continues to work well.

Sometimes, when a vaccine is urgently needed, researchers combine steps to speed up the approval process. This doesn’t mean that they’re skipping any important steps. It does mean researchers and public health organizations are working together at an extraordinary level to get a safe, e­ffective vaccine to the people who need it the most.

The Health Department works with State leadership to make these difficult choices after considering recommendations from the Advisory Committee on Immunization Practices, CDC, and Vermont’s Vaccine Implementation Advisory Committee. Based on our data, we know that focusing next on providing vaccine to people based on their age and whether they have certain high-risk health conditions will help us save lives.

Equity is also a consideration in our vaccination efforts. We are committed to addressing the historical and current factors that contribute to health disparities. Members of certain demographic groups have been disproportionately overrepresented in Vermont’s COVID-19 infection, hospitalization, and death rates. Because of these increased risks, historical harms and the resulting mistrust of health care and public health, we will ensure that Black, Indigenous and people of color in Vermont community gets the support they need, in the language they need, in the locations they need, to make informed choices and to get scheduled for vaccinations.

The Health Department is not keeping a list of eligible people. As each group becomes eligible, we will announce when those people can register for appointments. In addition to Health Department communications, we will work with partners such as health care practices, pharmacies, employers, and local news media to announce additional groups who become eligible for the vaccine.

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