How and Where to Get COVID-19 Vaccines and Boosters in Vermont

Posted on 11/30/21 by Andy Markowitz, Jessica Ravitz

En español | Who is eligible to get vaccinated?

  • Everyone age 5 and up.


Who's eligible for booster shots?

All adults 18 and older should get a Pfizer or Moderna booster six months after their initial two-shot series, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). People 18 and up who received the Johnson & Johnson vaccine should also get a booster dose at least two months after their first shot, the CDC says. 

Third doses of Pfizer and Moderna, distinct from boosters, are available for specific immunocompromised people, including organ transplant recipients and certain cancer patients. These recipients may also get a booster — a fourth dose — at least six months after the third shot, according to CDC guidance

Can I mix and match boosters?

It’s safe and effective to choose which vaccine you receive as a booster — whether it’s the one you got initially or another vaccine, according to CDC recommendations.

Which vaccine is authorized for kids?

Pfizer’s vaccine is authorized for children age 5 and older; the Moderna and Johnson & Johnson vaccines are authorized for those 18 and older. Pfizer’s vaccine for 5- to 11-year-olds is one-third the dose given to people age 12 and up, and is given in two doses, three weeks apart, according to CDC recommendations. Shots for kids are available at doctors’ offices and certain retail pharmacies. Call your doctor or check pharmacy websites. Both Pfizer and Moderna are researching how their vaccines work in children as young as 6 months. 

Where can I get a vaccine or booster?

  • Retail pharmacies, including CVS, WalgreensWalmart, Rite Aid and Costco are offering first shots and boosters and, in some cases, don't require appointments. But if you'd prefer to schedule your shot in advance, follow the links to book online or find pharmacies offering appointments through the state's COVID-19 website. Many sites let you book appointments for the specific brand of vaccine or booster you prefer, based on availability. Note that some pharmacy websites require you to answer questions about your vaccination status before presenting the option for a booster. 
Virus Outbreak Vermont Vaccine

  • The federal government’s vaccines website, www.vaccines.gov, lets you search for vaccines and booster shots by zip code, with links to appointments. Get the same information by texting your zip code to 438829 or by calling 800-232-0233 (TTY: 888-720-7489). 
  • Government-run vaccination sites, hospitals and community clinics, with many locations welcoming walk-ins, no appointment necessary. You can use the state health department's website to find a site near you or make an appointment. Vermont's COVID-19 data dashboard is tracking how many people have been vaccinated in the state.
  • Vermonters who are Black, Indigenous or people of color can schedule appointments at vaccination clinics focused on their communities in the Burlington, Bennington, Brattleboro and Rutland areas, as well as at pharmacies and state-run clinics.
  • Homebound Vermonters can receive shots through a state partnership with local home health and emergency services. Home care agencies will contact eligible clients to arrange vaccination visits. If you are homebound but are not a client of a home health agency, call 802-863-7240 to request a vaccination appointment.
  • Transit services to vaccination appointments are available, at no cost, through the Vermont Public Transportation Association. Contact your local public transportation provider at least 48 hours before your appointment to secure a ride. 

Check the health department’s vaccine page and COVID-19 FAQs for more information. If you don’t have internet access or need help making an online appointment, call the state vaccine call center at 855-722-7878.

What should I bring to my vaccination or booster appointment?

Some vaccination sites ask for proof of identity or eligibility. Bring a driver’s license or other state-issued ID that shows your name, age and state residency, along with your health insurance card, if you have one. You won’t be charged for the initial vaccine series, or a booster shot, but the vaccine provider may bill your insurer a fee for administering the vaccine. After your first shot, bring your vaccine card for subsequent shots. 

How are vaccinations working in nursing homes and long-term care facilities?

Most residents and staff of Vermont's long-term care facilities were offered first and second doses through a federal program that provided free on-site vaccinations in late 2020 and early 2021. The program has ended, but the federal government continues to allocate COVID-19 vaccines and boosters to pharmacies that are partnered with long-term care facilities to provide vaccinations, mainly on-site.  

Facilities that don’t have a pharmacy partner are encouraged to work with local or state health departments — or the federal government, if need be — to provide vaccinations. 
 
Most nursing home staff are required to be fully vaccinated by Jan. 4 as per a federal mandate for staff in health care facilities that receive Medicare and Medicaid dollars. Most assisted living, memory-care and other long-term care facilities are not subject to this mandate, as they are regulated by the states, some of which have their own mandates for workers.   

Which vaccines require two initial shots?

Both Pfizer and Moderna require two doses. If you get one of these, you’ll need a follow-up dose to be effectively immunized. Johnson & Johnson's vaccine requires just one shot, with a recommended booster two months later. A Food and Drug Administration warning states that the J&J vaccine has been connected with rare, severe blood clots in a small number of recipients, especially in women age 50 years and younger, and an increased risk of developing Guillain-Barré syndrome, a rare neurological disorder. 

Do I have to pay for the vaccination?

You should not have any out-of-pocket cost for getting the vaccine or a booster. AARP fought to make sure the federal government is covering the cost of the vaccine itself.

Scammers are purporting to offer COVID vaccines and treatments and trying to charge for them. AARP's Fraud Watch Network is tracking the latest scams.

What should I do with my vaccine card?

You should get a small white card at your vaccination appointment with your name, birth date, name of the vaccine you received and the date it was administered. If you receive the Pfizer or Moderna vaccine, bring your card when you get your second shot.

You may need your vaccine card to schedule a third vaccine dose, for certain immunocompromised people, or a booster shot. You may also need it for certain kinds of travel or other activities, so keep it in a safe place. You can take a photo of it with your smartphone for your own records. Experts say that posting a photo of your card to social media could make you vulnerable to identity theft.

If you’ve lost your vaccine card, call the site where you were vaccinated to request a new one or a copy of your vaccination record. You can also contact your state health department to request a replacement card or a copy of your record. 

How protected am I post-vaccination? I've heard about breakthrough infections.

All three vaccines reduce the risk of COVID-19 infections and are highly effective at preventing severe illness and death from the disease. But no vaccine is 100 percent effective and breakthrough infections, while relatively rare, have been reported.  

The CDC is tracking breakthrough infections and illness and death among vaccinated and unvaccinated populations.

This guide, originally published Jan. 5, was updated on Nov. 30 with new information about expanding booster shots to all adults 18 and older.

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    This story is provided by AARP Vermont. Visit the AARP Vermont page for more news, events, and programs affecting retirement, health care, and more.

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    Find information about getting a COVID-19 vaccine in your state. CDC information is available at cdc.gov/coronavirus; additional AARP information and resources are at aarp.org/coronavirus. En español, visite aarp.org/elcoronavirus.

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