D-H will wait weeks before offering COVID-19 booster shots

Valley News Staff Writer
Published: 9/29/2021 9:13:59 PM
Modified: 9/29/2021 9:14:03 PM

LEBANON — It may take a few weeks for Dartmouth-Hitchcock Health to provide COVID-19 booster shots, according to an update from the Lebanon-based health system.

The delay is a result of D-HH’s staffing shortage, ongoing flu vaccine clinics and COVID-19 vaccine clinics for patients who have never been vaccinated or who require a third dose due to a weakened immune system, Wednesday’s email said.

Last week, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention recommended that some people get a Pfizer-BioNTech booster shot at least six months after completing the initial two-shot series. These boosters are only for patients who received the Pfizer vaccine initially.

The CDC recommends the boosters for people 65 years and older and residents in long-term care settings, as well as people aged 50 to 64 with underlying medical conditions.

In addition, people 18 or older with underlying medical conditions and people 18 or older who are at increased risk for COVID-19 exposure and transmission because of occupational or institutional setting may receive a booster dose of the Pfizer COVID-19 vaccine based on their individual benefits and risks.

The CDC had previously recommended that people who have weakened immune systems get third doses of mRNA COVID-19 vaccine at least 28 days after a second dose of Pfizer or Moderna vaccine.

The CDC recommends that people in that category — including those in active cancer treatment, those who have received an organ or stem cell transplant, those with moderate or severe immunodeficiency, and those with advanced or untreated HIV — consult their doctor to determine whether a third dose is right for them.

The boosters and third shots are currently available for patients at many pharmacies and other retailers, the D-HH email noted. More information is at vaccines.gov or by calling 211.

D-HH also plans to update its website (dartmouth-hitchcock.org/covid19/booster-shots) as more information is available.

The Vermont Department of Health began allowing people in certain age groups or risk categories to sign up for booster shot appointments last week.

More information about getting boosters in Vermont is available online at: healthvermont.gov/covid-19/vaccine/getting-covid-19-vaccine or by calling 855-722-7878.

Food program ending after many meals

MONTPELIER — A food box program with its roots in the early days of the pandemic is ending after distributing tens of thousands of meals to people across Vermont.

In June, the Full Plates Vermont program run by the Vermont Foodbank took over the Farmers to Families Food Box program that was begun by the U.S. Department of Agriculture.

The original USDA program was designed to feed people left hungry by the pandemic and give those in the food industry, notably farmers, a place to sell their products.

The food bank, working with private, state and other partners, coordinated food distribution events where people’s vehicles were loaded with boxes of food containing poultry, fruit, vegetables and dairy items.

“A lot of people liked it and were getting a lot of value out of the box program,” said the Foodbank’s John Sayles.

The Rutland Herald reports that after the original program ended in May, the Vermont Foodbank continued with its version of the program, which has distributed 40,000 meals since June.

Sayles says that after the program ends on Thursday, people can who took advantage of it can check with the Foodbank to learn where they can get help.

Twin States numbers

Vermont reported 104 new COVID-19 cases on Wednesday for a statewide total since the pandemic began of more than 33,430 cases.

On Wednesday, 44 people were hospitalized, with 12 in intensive care.

The seven-day rolling average of daily of new cases in Vermont has risen over the past two weeks from 150.14 on Sept. 13 to 202.57 on Sept. 27.

The seven-day rolling average of daily deaths in Vermont has risen over the past two weeks from 1.29 on Sept. 13 to 1.71 on Sept. 27.

Nearly 120,000 people have tested positive for the virus in New Hampshire, including 443 new cases announced Wednesday. Two new deaths were announced, bringing the total to 1,479.

The seven-day rolling average of daily new cases in New Hampshire has risen over the past two weeks from 433 on Sept. 13 to 494 on Sept. 27.

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