UVM Medical Center Enters Fourth Week of COVID-19 Vaccinations and Continues Focus on Community Providers
All Vermont Hospitals Participate in this Historic Effort Overcoming Challenges with Fewer Doses, Delayed Shipments and Scheduling
BURLINGTON, Vt. – As Vermont enters the fourth week of administering COVID-19 vaccinations, the University of Vermont Medical Center continues to follow the federal government and State of Vermont plan to vaccinate health care workers identified for the first phase. The plan first called for Vermont hospitals to prioritize their providers and staff, EMS and Home Health & Hospice.
According to the plan, this week marks an even greater shift to community-based providers, those not employed by hospitals. UVM Medical Center is not distributing the vaccine to employees who are fully remote or who work in buildings that patients do not enter. UVM Medical Center has already vaccinated more than 6,000 people with about a third – or 2,000 – being community providers. UVM Medical Center also begun administering the second vaccine dose to those who have already received an initial Pfizer-BioNTech dose. Second doses of the Moderna vaccine will also be administered in the coming weeks.
UVM Medical Center has created a clinic on the grounds of the Champlain Valley Exposition (CVE) in Essex Junction to help facilitate the unprecedented effort. We continue to reach out directly to state-identified community health organizations and staff to schedule vaccinations based on the state's guidance.
“More and more Vermonters are receiving the vaccine every day – getting us closer and closer to ending this pandemic. We are thankful for close cooperation with the state of Vermont and our community partners as we continue to perform this work as efficiently as possible,” said Howard Schapiro, MD, Senior Vice President and Chief Population Health and Quality Officer for the UVM Health Network. “It is hard to believe how quickly this effort has mobilized, and how much progress we have been able to make in such a short period of time. There is much work left to do, and we will continue working hard to further refine our process to help complete the state’s vaccination plan for health care workers. It has been a privilege to work with my dedicated and tireless colleagues to build this clinic at the fairgrounds.”
The hospital is also continuing to vaccinate its own patient-facing staff as part of this historic and massive vaccination effort in Vermont and across the country. The percentage of community health care workers who have received the vaccine is rising rapidly and will continue to increase in the coming weeks. So far, more than 4,300 employees at UVM Medical Center have received the first dose of vaccine and nearly 2,000 community health care providers have received their first dose.
The UVM Medical Center has received a combined 6,860 doses of the Pfizer-BioNTech and Moderna vaccines for hospital employees for first doses and has administered 68 percent of them. Another 3,832 first doses have been received for distribution to community health care workers and 56 percent have been administered. Based on our projections, we are expecting to administer nearly 100 percent of our doses on hand by Monday. We will continue to distribute vaccines as quickly and efficiently as we can when we receive shipments.
“Our entire team at Vermont Eye Surgery & Laser Center was excited to get the call and receive our vaccinations. We appreciate how hard the Vermont Department of Health and UVM Medical Center staff are working to ensure that health care workers are receiving this important protection,” said Clinic Administrator Mary Clairmont, RN. “The vaccine is critical to stopping this pandemic and we are proud to be part of this historic effort.”
The process for vaccine distribution in Vermont was developed by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s Advisory Committee on Immunization Practices and the Vermont Department of Health. All Vermont hospitals have stepped-up to play an important role in implementation of this critically important plan. The roll-out itself has not been without significant challenges such as changes in supply and delivery dates that have caused clinics to need to adjust in real-time.
“We know community providers and others are eager to be vaccinated as soon as possible and that is a very positive sign,” said Dr. Stephen Leffler, president and COO of the UVM Medical Center. “The sooner we get Vermonters this life-saving vaccine, the sooner we can put the pandemic behind us. Please know that we are following the state’s plan carefully and a project of this magnitude will take months to implement. It is critical that we continue to support one another and work together to get this job done.”
Links for Reference:
- State of Vermont Plan and Information to Vaccinate Health Care Professionals
- State of Vermont Department of Health Vaccination Recommendations
- State of Vermont December 8 Presentation on Vaccination Clinic Coordination
- Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) and Advisory Committee on Immunization Practices (ACIP) Vaccine Distribution Recommendations
About the University of Vermont Medical Center
The University of Vermont Medical Center is a 499-bed tertiary care regional referral center providing advanced care to approximately 1 million residents in Vermont and northern New York. Together with our partners at the Larner College of Medicine at the University of Vermont and the College of Nursing and Health Sciences, we are Vermont’s academic medical center. The University of Vermont Medical Center also serves as a community hospital for approximately 150,000 residents in Chittenden and Grand Isle counties.
The University of Vermont Medical Center is a member of The University of Vermont Health Network, an integrated system established to deliver high quality academic medicine to every community we serve.