COVID-19
Resource Center

982 Mansion Drive, Bennington, VT

HOURS:  Mon – Wed  12 – 6 p.m.  |   Thu – Fri  8 a.m. – 2 p.m.  |  Sat  8 a.m. – 12 p.m.

Testing helps prevent the spread of COVID-19. It's free, and you can either make an appointment or walk in.

For other testing locations, click here to visit the Vermont Department of Health website.

 

Patients between the ages of 12 to 18 will receive Pfizer. Patients over the age of 18 have a choice of Pfizer, Moderna, or Johnson & Johnson, based on availability. Vaccines are free, with no cost to patients.

Appointments preferred, walk-ins welcome. Those who register online may reserve their choice of vaccine.

Many people can now receive booster shots for COVID-19 vaccines. If you are eligible and you would like to receive the same shot as you received previously, click the button to the right to schedule. For eligibility details and other instructions, see the Booster FAQs. Patients may experience a wait during times of peak demand. 

 

Your local medical professionals are preparing for the 2021 – 2022 flu season. "Flu is already present in our community," said Marie George, MD, FIDSA, the infectious disease specialist at SVMC. "The flu shot is your best prevention against a severe case of the flu."

Things to know:
  • It's possible to get the flu and COVID at the same time.
  • A flu vaccine is the best defense against the flu.
  • You can get flu and COVID vaccine on the same day.
  • The composition of all flu vaccines has been updated to include all four flu viruses. All are known as quadrivalent vaccines, and they provide broad protection against the four major flu viruses.
  • Flu vaccines are highly recommended for anyone aged 6 months and older. They are available in a number of locations.
  • Children can get vaccinated for the flu at their pediatrician’s or family medicine provider’s office.
  • Adults can get flu vaccines from local pharmacies. At most pharmacies, there is no cost to patients with insurance and those who receive government assistance.
  • For age 65 and older, a high-dose variety of flu vaccine is recommended. It is available at pharmacies and some doctor’s offices.
  • SVMC will provide standard and high-dose flu vaccines to people aged 5 and older at the COVID Resource Center beginning Wednesday, September 29 – Friday, October 29 during regular business hours.
  • No appointment is necessary. Insurances cover the entire cost of flu vaccines. Those without insurance will receive a bill in the mail. The cost is $33 for the standard dose and $58 for the high dose.

COVID-19 Information Hotline

Have questions? Need assistance? Call 802-440-8844.

Staffed by SVHC Registered Nurses every Monday through Friday 8 a.m. to 5 p.m.

BOOSTER FAQs:

People who received a second dose of the either the Pfizer or Moderna vaccines 6 months ago or more and

  • are age 65 or older
  • are age 18 or older with certain medical conditions that put you at high risk of getting severely ill with COVID-19
  • are age 18 and older who are more likely to be exposed to or spread COVID because of where they work

Anyone who received the Johnson & Johnson vaccine at least 2 months ago.

People 18 years or older with certain medical conditions that put them at high risk of getting severely ill with COVID-19 will be eligible to get a booster shot if they have gotten their second dose of the Pfizer-BioNTech or the Moderna vaccine at least 6 months ago. The medical conditions are:

  • Cancer, including history of cancer
  • Chronic kidney disease
  • Chronic lung diseases, including COPD (chronic obstructive pulmonary disease), asthma (moderate to severe), emphysema, chronic bronchitis, interstitial lung disease, cystic fibrosis and pulmonary hypertension
  • Dementia or other neurological conditions
  • Diabetes (type 1 or type 2)
  • Down syndrome, and other chromosomal disorders, such as intellectual disabilities (IQ of 70 or below), disabilities that compromise lung function (neurological and muscular dystrophy, spina bifida, multiple sclerosis)
  • Heart conditions (such as heart failure, coronary heart disease, cardiomyopathies, or hypertension)
  • HIV infection
  • Immunocompromised state (weakened immune system)
  • Liver disease
  • Overweight and obesity
  • Pregnancy
  • Sickle cell disease or thalassemia
  • Smoking, current or former
  • Solid organ or blood stem cell transplant
  • Stroke or cerebrovascular disease, which affects blood flow to the brain
  • Substance use disorders

People age 18 and older, who received a second dose of either the Pfizer or Moderna COVID vaccines at least 6 months ago, and who are more likely to be exposed to or spread COVID because of where they work are eligible for a booster. This means people who work indoors, where they are exposed to the public and other workers. Examples include:

  • First responders (health care workers, firefighters, police)
  • Education staff (teachers, support staff, child care workers)
  • Food and agriculture workers
  • Manufacturing workers
  • Corrections workers
  • U.S. Postal Service Workers
  • Public transit workers
  • Grocery store workers
  • Food service workers

Those who live in congregate settings will also be eligible. This includes long-term care facilities, homeless shelters, and correctional facilities.

Once you are eligible for a booster shot, no matter which vaccine you got originally, your booster can be the vaccine type of your choice: Pfizer, Moderna, or Johnson & Johnson.

If you are eligible and would like the same shot as you received before, register with the Vermont Department of Health's COVID-19 portal  and schedule an appointment at one of several locations throughout the state of Vermont. Also, you can get a booster shot with an appointment at several Vermont pharmacies. Visit the pharmacy website for details.

If you are eligible and would like a different shot than you received before, you can walk in to the COVID Resource Center or check with your local pharmacy. Appointments for receiving a different vaccine that the primary series are expected to open on the Vermont Department of Health’s COVID portal on November 1.

 

TESTING FAQs:

Testing is an important tool to help prevent the spread of COVID-19. Anyone can get tested for COVID-19, including visitors to Vermont and international travelers. People with or without symptoms can be tested at most testing locations. Testing is free to all, and many sites now let you take your own sample using a short swab in your nose. You can either make an appointment or walk in.

The Vermont Department of Health recommends testing: 

  • As soon as possible after you have symptoms of COVID, even mild symptoms and even if you have already had and recovered from COVID.
  • If you are unvaccinated and a close contact of someone who tested positive for COVID-19. Close contact means being within 6 feet, for a total of 15 minutes or more over a 24-hour period, of someone with COVID-19 during their infectious period. The infectious period is when the person with COVID-19 is contagious. It starts two days before symptoms began and continues until they are recovered. For people who haven't had symptoms, the infectious period starts two days before they had a positive test.
  • Note that if you’re vaccinated and you’ve been exposed to someone who tested positive for COVID, you don’t necessarily need a test. You can behave normally and get tested if symptoms arise. This is one of the major benefits of vaccination. Or, you can get tested 2 – 5 days after your exposure, if you like.
  • If you have symptoms, get tested immediately. 
  • If you do not have symptoms, wait to get tested until you have symptoms or 2 – 5 days after an exposure to a symptomatic person or to someone who tested positive. Some schools require students to get a negative test 7 days after an exposure.

Tests are free to patients. If you have insurance, it may be billed. If you don’t have insurance, no worries. You will not receive a bill.

SVMC is proud to offer most results to patients via text within 24 hours. Detailed instructions for the different ways to obtain your test results appear here

If you are unvaccinated, follow these instructions from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and any directions you receive from the organization administering the test. If you are vaccinated, you do not have to quarantine while you wait for your test results, but you should use caution around other people, especially those who are unvaccinated or vulnerable to a serious case of COVID-19.

VACCINE FAQs:

Those 12 and older can register here. Those without access to the Internet may call 855-722-7878. Note that this timeline could change. We will use this website, our professional networks, medical practices, local media, 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."  

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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

Vaccines will be provided at 59 sites in 39 towns throughout Vermont. SVMC will conduct one site in Bennington. Bennington's branch of the Vermont Department of Health expects to conduct a site in Manchester.

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. 

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.

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.

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