Vermont opens COVID-19 vaccines to those 40 and older

MONTPELIER, Vt. (AP) — Vermonters age 40 and over are now eligible to make appointments to be vaccinated against the virus that causes COVID-19.

The Vermont Health Department website started accepting appointments on Monday. In one week, the age limit drops to age 30 and over. On April 19, all adult Vermonters will be eligible to be vaccinated.

The presence of the virus in Vermont has been increasing in recent weeks. Officials say the state is in a race to vaccinate as many people as possible to help stop the spread of the virus.

Officials blame the increase on a number of more-transmissible variants of the virus that are being found in Vermont and among young people who are more socially active but not yet eligible to be vaccinated.

Gov. Phil Scott and Health Commissioner Dr. Mark Levine are urging Vermonters to remember the guidance that has helped the state maintain a relatively low rate of COVID-19 cases during the pandemic: Wear masks, maintain social distance and avoid large gatherings.

THE NUMBERS

Vermont reported 116 new cases of the coronavirus on Monday for a statewide total since the pandemic began of more than 20,260.

The Health Department reported that 23 people were hospitalized with three in intensive care.

The seven-day rolling average of daily new cases in Vermont has risen over the past two weeks from 121.43 new cases per day on March 20 to 189.86 new cases per day on April 3.

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