For Immediate Release: Nov. 17, 2009
Media Contact: Communication Office
Vermont Department of Health
BURLINGTON – More than 700 of Vermont’s licensed Emergency Medical Technicians (EMT-Intermediates) and paramedics are now eligible to serve as vaccinators at public and school clinics across the state. Qualified EMTs and paramedics must first file an application with the Vermont Department of Health.
The 2009 H1N1 influenza virus is widespread in Vermont, and EMTs who serve in fire departments, private and municipal EMS services can expand the number of qualified health care professionals who can administer vaccine.
“These health care professionals will be a valuable resource as we work to vaccinate those who are most at risk for serious complications from the new H1N1 flu,” said Health Commissioner Wendy Davis, MD, who issued the order today that implements these new temporary provisions of the EMS rule, and authorizes EMTs and paramedics to provide flu shots at clinics.
A total of 142 school-based clinics and 17 public clinics have been held to date as part of an ongoing mass vaccination effort to protect as many people as possible who are most at risk for serious complications from the flu. Vaccinations are also given in hospitals, health care provider offices and other settings.
Those eligible for the vaccine now are:
- pregnant women
- anyone who lives with or provides care for infants younger than 6 months
- health care workers and EMS personnel
- all people age 6 months to 24 years
- anyone age 25 through 64 years of age who has a medical condition that puts them at greater risk for serious complications or death from flu
“We are already trained to give injections, and this is a valuable community service that we can provide,” said Christian Phelps, RN, EMT-Paramedic, who is the EMS and emergency preparedness director for Southwestern Vermont Medical Center.
The application form, new rule provisions and information for EMT-Is and paramedics can be found at the Health Department’s website at http://healthvermont.gov/hc/ems/vaccinator_program.aspx .
Extensive information, tools and resources about seasonal and pandemic flu, healthy habits and preparedness are available at the Health Department’s website: healthvermont.gov or dial 2-1-1. You can also follow us on Twitter at twitter.com/healthvermont.