COVID-19 Vaccine

COVID-19 vaccination for members of the general public has not yet begun. We anticipate starting within weeks. Please check back often, as we will update this page as soon as a start date has been determined. ​

  • Vaccines for frontline healthcare workers are ongoing.
  • Adults living in long-term care settings began receiving their vaccines on December 21.
  • Vaccines for non-healthcare workers have not yet begun. As more information becomes available, we will post updates including who should plan to get vaccinated next and how they will access the vaccine.
  • Everyone, including those who have received a vaccine, should continue to take precautions against the spread of COVID-19, including socializing only with those within their household, wearing a mask and maintaining 6 feet between them and others when in public, and washing hands frequently.


December 11: The Pfizer-BIONtech vaccine received emergency use authorization from the Food and Drug administration. Vermont received an initial shipment of nearly 6,000 doses. More doses are expected weekly throughout the month of December.

December 16: A limited supply of the Pfizer vaccine has arrived at SVMC. Hospital Medicine Physician Ann Marie Swann, MD, and Patricia Johnson, RN, were the first staff to receive the vaccine. Forty-five healthcare workers, who work directly with COVID-19 patients, were also vaccinated, and 250 will be vaccinated in the first week. 

December 21: A supply of Moderna vaccine arrived at SVMC. 

December 22: One hundred and thirty CLR residents and staff received the Pfizer vaccines. 

December 29: Vaccine scheduling for community healthcare workers opened. 



As with other vaccines, a small percentage of individuals may experience a brief period of fatigue, soreness at the injection site, and headache.

There are still unknowns, like how long the protection will last and how often we will need to be revaccinated. We trust that science will answer those questions, once the data is available.


How will I learn when I can get my vaccine?
The first wave of vaccine will go to healthcare workers and those who live and work in skilled nursing facilities. See the chart above for additional details on the estimated roll out. Note that this timeline could change. We will use our professional networks, medical practices, local media, our website, social media, our e-newsletter, and other means to notify people how and when they can get their vaccine. We are not collecting names for a "waiting list." 

When will firefighters be vaccinated?
Firefighters who provide medical treatment on occaision may be vaccinated as a healthcare worker. Healthcare workers who work within SVMC's service area may schedule to receive their vaccine now at

Is the vaccine for COVID a “live” vaccine? 
None of the COVID-19 vaccines currently in development in the United States use the live virus. Instead, they use just a small piece of the virus, either a protein or genetic material, to teach our immune systems how to recognize and fight it. The small piece of the virus used cannot multiply in the way necessary to make us sick.

What are the vaccines' ingredients? 
The Pfizer BioNTech COVID Vaccine includes mRNA, lipids ((4-hydroxybutyl)azanediyl)bis(hexane-6,1-diyl)bis(2-hexyldecanoate), 2 [(polyethylene glycol)-2000]-N,N-ditetradecylacetamide, 1,2-Distearoyl-sn-glycero-3- phosphocholine, and cholesterol), potassium chloride, monobasic potassium phosphate, sodium chloride, dibasic sodium phosphate dihydrate, and sucrose. See the complete fact sheet here. 

The Moderna COVID Vaccine includes messenger ribonucleic acid (mRNA), lipids (SM-102, polyethylene glycol [PEG] 2000 dimyristoyl glycerol [DMG], cholesterol, and 1,2-distearoyl-sn-glycero-3-phosphocholine [DSPC]), tromethamine, tromethamine hydrochloride, acetic acid, sodium acetate, and sucrose. See the complete fact sheet here. 

What does “Emergency Use Authorization” mean?
In an emergency, like a pandemic, the FDA can issue an emergency use authorization, or EUA, to provide faster access to medicines and tests that may help. They can do this only during an emergency and only when there are no adequate, approved, and available alternatives. EUAs have been used to make COVID tests available to the public, and soon, we expect a few vaccines will be made available in this way. While less data is needed to get a EUA than FDA approval, it still takes tons of data. The benefit is that an EUA takes weeks, rather than months or years. EUAs are continuously evaluated and can be revoked if (a) the emergency ends, (b) the product is found to be unfit, or (c) the product is officially approved, cleared, or licensed by the FDA.

I have heard that vaccines can make you sick with the disease. Is that true?
No. A small percentage of people who received the vaccine will get fatigue, soreness, inflammation, or headache. While these symptoms are similar to those experienced by those with COVID, they are a result of the vaccine teaching your body to respond to the virus, if it enters your body. These reactions have universally resolve in a short amount of time, usually less than one day. 

It does take about 2 weeks for the vaccine to provide immunity. A person could encounter the virus and become infected just before or just after receiving the vaccine, before the protection takes effect, which could lead to someone thinking that the vaccine had made them ill. 

I have heard that the vaccine is delivered in two doses. If it works, why do we need to get two shots?
All but one of the vaccines in Phase III clinical trials requires two shots. The first shot starts building protection. A second shot, a few weeks later, is needed to get the most protection. Think of it as a one-two punch.

Does obesity count as a high-risk medical condition?
In some cases, yes. We will rely on primary care providers or other medical professionals who work with individuals to help determine whether a person falls into the high-risk category.

Where will vaccines be given?
Just like SVMC provided flu vaccines throughout October, we are planning to provide the COVID vaccine during drive-up clinics in a parking lot on our Bennington Campus, other hospital locations, and eventually at primary care clinics.

Does the vaccine cause an allergic reaction? 
Allergic reactions to the vaccine are very rare. If you have never had a reaction to another vaccine, you should not expect to have a reaction to this one. Complete information is available here. 

Once I get the vaccine, I can go back to normal life, right?
There are many considerations that will help determine if we can quit wearing masks, get together with friends, and travel again. It is best to look to the experts at the Vermont Department of Health or your state’s department of health. Continuing a (maybe slightly loosened) set of precautions will help ensure our entire community is protected before we relax. And remember, you’re never fully protected and the best protection you can get from the vaccine will be  after your second shot.

How long will the immunity we get from the COVID vaccine last? Will we need a new vaccine every year, like we do for the flu? 
There are still unknowns, like how long the protection will last and how often we will need to be revaccinated. We trust that science will answer those questions, once the data is available.



December 22: Residents and Employees of CLR Receive Vaccine

December 21: SVMC to Hold COVID-19 Panel Discussion with First Vaccine Recipients

December 17: Allergies and the COVID-19 Vaccine

December 16: First SVMC Employees Receive COVID-19 Vaccines

December 15: SVHC’s Role in Regional Vaccine Deployment

December 10: Digital Info Session

December 9: SVMC to Hold COVID-19 Digital Information Session

December 4: Vaccine Update: Top 10 Things to Know

November 25: Thankful for Good Vaccine News

November 6: Why a Vaccine is the Only Way to Achieve Herd Immunity

June 17: Vaccine Update

Theme picker

Theme picker

Theme picker

Our Services


A commitment to excellence and a patient-centered approach sets Southwestern Vermont Health Care apart.

 Cancer Care
 Primary Care
 Rehab & Residential Care
View All Services

Theme picker

Theme picker

Theme picker

Theme picker