New walk-in COVID vaccine site opens in Middlebury

MREMS emergency medical technician Paul Miller finishes up the paperwork for a COVID-19 vaccination booster shot administered at the newly opened Middle Road clinic in Middlebury Monday afternoon.

MIDDLEBURY — A new COVID-19 vaccination clinic has opened in Middlebury.

The site at 55 Middle Road — in the big green building behind the One Dollar Market — saw more than 200 people come in and get COVID vaccine boosters on Monday, according to Kate Rothwell, the director of Middlebury Regional Emergency Medical Services, which is running the site.

The news clinic offers free Moderna booster shots, in addition to Pfizer boosters, which were the first third-dose injection approved by federal health authorities. Rothwell credited the availability of the Moderna vaccines for some of the rush at the site.

The clinic would prefer that people make an appointment for the vaccination — whether that be a first, second or booster shot — on the Vermont Department of Health website here. But those wishing to get vaccinated may also walk in without an appointment, but they may have to wait.

Anyone age 18 and older and at least six months past their 2nd dose of Moderna or Pfizer vaccine, or two months past their single does of the Johnson & Johnson vaccine, is eligible if they feel they are “at increased risk of exposure to COVID.” The DOH offers a long list of medical conditions that put people at high-risk of getting severely ill from COVID-19. These conditions include current or past case of cancer, diabetes, overweight, pregnancy, current or former smoker, substance use disorder and many more. Read the full list here.

The state also lists jobs that put people at an increased risk of exposure to COVID-19. Among these are first responder, people who work in schools, food and agriculture workers, grocery store workers and more (See the full list here).

Rothwell pointed to DOH booster shot eligibility guidelines that included people who live or work in congregate settings, college students who live in dorm or people who work next to others in an indoor setting.

“We don’t want to turn down people just because they think they won’t qualify,” Rothwell said.

The DOH site itself notes that the U.S. Centers for Disease Control “defines risk as … working in a job that increases your risk of COVID-19 because you are indoors, exposed to the public and to other workers.

The DOH site notes that “you will have to state that you meet the eligibility requirements (but) you will not have to show proof.”

People getting a booster shot should bring their COVID-19 vaccine card.

The Middle Road clinic is open daily except Sundays and Tuesdays, 8:30 a.m. to 4:30 a.m., walk in or make an appointment. The last appointments will be set for 4:15 each day; the last walk-in will be 4 p.m. because it takes a little longer to process walk-ins. Everyone must wait on-site for 15 minutes after their shot to make sure they don’t have any immediate adverse reactions.

Booster vaccines are also available at other sites around Addison County, including at Walgreens and Kinney pharmacies. There is a Kinney Drugs in Vergennes and a Walgreens in Bristol. There is also a Walgreens in Brandon.

Addison County Home Health and Hospice, which is located on Route 7 in New Haven just north of the Middlebury town line, also is administering COVID-19 vaccinations and booster shots. Sign up for a shot on the DOH website: click here if you are signing up for your first shot and don’t have an account; click here if you have already registered with the DOH and are looking to get a second dose or booster shot.

Many health care providers and family physicians also are offering vaccinations. Call your doctor’s office to see if they are offering it.

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