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Valley News – COVID-19: Delays slow shots for kids under 5 at Vermont hospital

WOODSTOCK — Although COVID-19 vaccines have been licensed for use in kids youthful than 5 since June, Mt. Ascutney Hospital and Health Center’s practices in Woodstock and Windsor solely started administering to that age group earlier this month.

“Each time a new vaccine is distributed or an age range changes, we are required to take the important step of updating our electronic medical record to properly and safely document the administration of vaccines,” mentioned Dr. Joseph Perras, CEO of Mt. Ascutney Hospital and Health Center, which incorporates the Ottauquechee Health Center in Woodstock in addition to the Windsor hospital. “This is a complex and time-consuming process — yet a necessary one.”

It took the seller who manages the clinics’ digital medical report a while to set it up in order that it may correctly doc the vaccine distribution, mentioned Dr. Kimberly J. Aakre, a Mt. Ascutney pediatrician in Windsor. But at this level, Aakre mentioned all of the sufferers on the ready record in Windsor have both gotten a vaccine or been scheduled to get one.

“It’s up and rolling at this point,” Aakre mentioned. “We’re all set to go.”

Still, the delay in Woodstock spurred one Vermont grandmother of an Ottauquechee affected person to pen a commentary for information web site VTDigger this week describing her frustration.

Victoria Rhodin, a Montpelier resident, mentioned her daughter and son-in-legislation took their 2½-yr-outdated son to a properly-youngster go to at the Ottauquechee Health Center three weeks in the past solely to be taught that he couldn’t get his COVID-19 shot, which he wants so as to meet his nice-grandparents in particular person. The clinic instructed the dad and mom that they’d get a name when the vaccine grew to become out there there.

Frustrated by the delay, Rhodin subsequently tried dialing the clinic herself, which instructed her the identical data. She then spoke with somebody at the White River Junction district workplace of the Vermont Department of Health, who instructed her of upcoming vaccination clinics in Hartford and Woodstock.

Rhodin, in her commentary, recommended that (*5*)

Vaccinations for kids under 5 started in Vermont in late June. As of Wednesday, about 30% of kids in that age group, or 8,000 out of 26,000 complete, had gotten a primary shot, in accordance with Monica Ogelby, the immunization program supervisor for the Vermont Department of Health.

Uptake elsewhere has been slower. As of Aug. 10, simply 7% of New Hampshire’s kids under age 5 had gotten a primary shot, in accordance with the American Academy of Pediatrics. Nationally, 5.8% of kids in that age group had gotten at least one dose of a COVID-19 vaccine by Aug. 10, in accordance with AAP knowledge.

Ogelby mentioned Vermont’s reliance on pediatricians to distribute COVID-19 vaccines is as a result of most youngsters within the state have a main care house the place they go frequently for properly-youngster visits. Some dad and mom might want the prospect to ask their youngster’s pediatrician questions on vaccines, she mentioned.

Ogelby mentioned she didn’t assume that the expertise of Rhodin’s household was broadly shared, and it was “shocking to me” to listen to of the delays in administering the vaccine at the Ottauquechee Health Center, partially as a result of each Ottauquechee and Mt. Ascutney’s Windsor follow have been good immunization companions previously.

While some dad and mom had been “raring at the door” to get their kids vaccinated, Aakre, the Mt. Ascutney pediatrician, mentioned others have been hesitant so as to add one other vaccine to the various shots that younger kids get. Other households are also hopeful {that a} vaccine under improvement would possibly present higher safety in opposition to among the newer variants of the virus that causes COVID-19.

“In general, Vermont families have been pretty good about taking it in and wanting it,” Aakre mentioned. The state’s “numbers (are) pretty good compared with some of the national figures.”

Vaccination areas will be discovered on-line at, or Dartmouth Health sufferers can schedule vaccinations on-line by means of and people who find themselves not DH sufferers can name the group’s COVID-19 hotline at 603-650-1818, 7 a.m. to 5 p.m. Monday although Friday, and eight a.m. to midday Saturdays.

Dartmouth Health collection to give attention to childhood vaccination

LEBANON — In collaboration with the New Hampshire Department of Health and Human Services, Dartmouth Health is about to launch a free digital schooling collection on childhood vaccination subsequent month, in accordance with a DH information launch.

The launch famous that as of mid-July, solely 22.7% of kids ages 5-11 years outdated and 44.1% of teenagers ages 12-19 in New Hampshire had been absolutely vaccinated in opposition to COVID-19, in accordance with DHHS knowledge. In addition, lowered charges of vaccination in opposition to different childhood diseases could spur the resurgence of different ailments.

“Vaccination is one of the most important tools in ensuring children live long, healthy lives, but misinformation and hesitation on the part of adults can cause a real hindrance in childhood vaccination rates,” Dr. Erik M. Shessler, affiliate medical director of common pediatrics at Dartmouth Health Children’s, mentioned within the launch.

The collection, “Key Strategies to Promote Childhood Vaccination,” goals to supply data to well being care suppliers and members of the general public about vaccines — how they work, how they’re evaluated for security — and the way individuals might help promote elevated vaccination to guard public well being.

The 5 deliberate classes for the web Project ECHO collection embody: vaccine information on Sept. 7; efficient communication to extend uptake on Sept. 21; widespread misinformation on Oct. 5; well being fairness on Oct. 19; and an open matter to be decided based mostly on points that come up through the collection on Nov. 2.

All classes might be held from midday-1 p.m. Registration is required and freed from cost. Registration is on-line at:

Nora Doyle-Burr will be reached at or 603-727-3213.

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