Central Vermont Medical Center announced on Wednesday plans to expand its COVID-19 vaccine capabilities, in part by setting up a vaccine center in the former JCPenney store at the north end of the Berlin Mall.
Since Feb. 3, CVMC has been administering 50 vaccine doses per day, in accordance with guidance from the state. With the new space and capacity, CVMC will begin vaccinating 200 Vermonters per day with plans to increase that to 400 per day by April. At the top end, CVMC says it could vaccinate up to 2,000 people per day if called upon to do so. Thus far, CMVC has vaccinated more than 3,500 Vermonters.
“Throughout this pandemic, the CVMC team has worked collaboratively to keep patients, residents, colleagues, and the broader community safe,” said CVMC President and COO Anna Tempesta Noonan. “This next phase of our pandemic response is no different. As the world engages in one of the largest collective public health efforts in recent history, CVMC is doing its part to support the health and wellness of our community.”
The new CVMC space at the Berlin Mall will be staffed by medical professionals, including retired doctors and nurses. The medical center credits Heidenberg Properties, the manager of the Berlin Mall, as well as Farrington Construction of Shelburne and Benoit Electric of Barre for transforming the space.
“The logistics of this vaccination clinic are extensive,” said CVMC COVID Vaccine Hub lead Barbara Quealy, Director of Primary Care Operations. “We’ve had a multidisciplinary team working tirelessly to create a scalable approach that will accelerate vaccination in Central Vermont. We’ve brought a great team on board and are rapidly transforming the space to meet our needs.”
On Tuesday, March 2, Gov. Phil Scott announced the state would begin scheduling vaccinations on March 8 for Vermonters who work in the education and childcare fields as well as those over 55 years of age with eligible medical conditions. Adults over 16 years of age with eligible medical conditions can begin scheduling vaccinations on March 15. Last week, Scott opened the vaccine portal to those 65 or older. The clinic at the Berlin Mall will continue to be by appointment only through the scheduling portal for the Vermont Department of Health at healthvermont.gov/myvaccine.
State officials have requested that those registering use the online portal to keep phone lines from being overwhelmed. They also ask Vermonters to schedule vaccinations at locations closest to their homes and to keep their appointments, because no-shows or last-minute cancellations can lead to wasted vaccine doses.