Thursday, December 23, 2021

Burlington Covid-19 Update: City Issues Booster Alert

Burlington, VT - Today, Mayor Weinberger issued a Booster Alert in the City of Burlington to drive up the rate of booster vaccines in Chittenden County, outlined steps the City is taking to prepare for the coming weeks, and urged residents to take additional precautions to protect themselves against the contagious Omicron variant.


"As we close 2021, we are entering yet another new stage of the pandemic with the arrival of the highly contagious Omicron variant in Vermont," said Mayor Weinberger. As the President and Governor have said repeatedly, because of the huge progress we have made over the last year with vaccinations and our understanding of the virus this should not be cause for panic, but it should be cause for attention and taking action. Though this next stage of the pandemic will require renewed care and diligence, our City has faced difficult times before, and we have stayed focused and come together to meet the task. I know we can emerge from this challenging time stronger if we take the recommended actions, just as we have in the past 20 months. Together we can meet this moment, help those that are most vulnerable, and save lives."

The City is taking several steps to prepare for the coming weeks:


·       The City is issuing a Booster Alert. The science is now clear that receiving a booster substantially reduces a person's likelihood of becoming infected by Omicron, versus having only an initial vaccine series. As of today, 55% of people 16 and older in Chittenden County that have completed a previous vaccine series have received a booster. Over the coming weeks, this rate needs to be driven up further. 


·       The City is in close collaboration with the state and local vaccine partners to identify ways the City may be able to support expanded capacity at local vaccination sites. 


·       On Monday, the City Council voted to extend the City of Burlington Mask Mandate Ordinance through the month of January. As a result of this ordinance, approximately 30 Burlington restaurants and bars now require vaccinations for entry. Find out more information about this ordinance at:


·       The City is preparing to update its employee vaccination policy to require boosters. 


·       The City is updating its employee masking policy to require all employees, regardless of vaccination status, to once again mask when indoors in the same room as other people. 


Mayor Weinberger urged City residents to take the following steps:


·       Get a booster as soon as possible, which is the most impactful precaution a person can take right now. Boosters are available for anyone 16 and older that had their last dose of either a Pfizer or Moderna vaccine at least 6 months ago, and people who got the single-dose J+J vaccine at least 2 months ago. 


·       Employers should strongly consider implementing the same changes that the City is making to its to COVID policies (per above).


·       Test before and after gathering with vulnerable friends and family members. The State is working to rapidly expand their testing capacity over the coming weeks in response to the large increase in demand. Testing capacity is currently limited before Christmas, but appointments are available between Christmas and New Year's. Find out more about where to get a test:


·       Use a high-quality mask, like a N95, KN95 or KF94, when in indoor public places.


·       Prepare for potential disruptions in the weeks ahead. A wave of new infections could result in worker shortages, closures, or other forthcoming health measures.


COVID Vaccine Clinic Information

Because capacity at many sites is currently limited, residents are strongly encouraged to make an appointment. Residents can find information about vaccine clinics, including information on whether walk-ins and pediatric vaccines are available, and how to make an appointment on the State Department of Health website.


On December 21, the State announced additional pop-up vaccination sites and appointments during the holidays, including within Chittenden County. Upcoming sites include (check website for additional info):


December 30

·       UVMMC Taft Corners, 300 Interstate Corp Center, Williston

·       Double Tree Hotel, 870 Williston Road, South Burlington

Vermont Health Equity Initiative hosts vaccine, booster, and pediatric vaccine clinics for BIPOC Vermonters in Burlington every other weekend through March 2022. 

·       On December 26, there will be a clinic for 5-11 year olds from 11am to noon at the Downtown Burlington High School.

·       The next regular clinic is January 8, 2022 at St. Paul's Cathedral, 2 Cherry Street, Burlington.

·       More information and to register for an appointments at a VHEI clinic, visit:



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