MONTPELIER — Officials say the number of people getting vaccinated in the state has decreased significantly.
Gov. Phil Scott has said he will remove all coronavirus pandemic restrictions when the state reaches 80% of the eligible population with at least one dose of the vaccine. Scott said Thursday that number was 77.6%. Those who are 12 years old or older are vaccine-eligible.
At his regular news conference Tuesday, the governor said the number is 77.9%. Scott said 11,346 more Vermonters need to get vaccinated to hit 80%.
The data the state has only accounts for vaccinations through May 30. That’s because Monday was a day off for Memorial Day observances so the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) didn’t have the latest figures to share yet.
Scott said he expects fewer than 10,000 residents actually need to get the vaccine to reach 80%.
“So we’re just days away from hitting our goal,” he said.
He said he expected to get updated vaccine numbers later in the day Tuesday.
A week ago, the governor had said between 2,500 and 3,000 people were getting vaccinated daily in Vermont.
Mike Smith, secretary of the state Agency of Human Services, reiterated that Tuesday, saying the seven-day average for vaccinations in the state had been 2,500 per day as of last week.
“But in recent days that number has dropped off, demonstrating a slowdown,” Smith said.
He said 1,446 residents were vaccinated Friday and another 1,509 on Saturday. Officials again urged residents to get vaccinated if they haven’t already.
Smith said if 1,000 people get vaccinated per day going forward, the state will completely reopen on June 11. He said if 1,500 are vaccinated daily, restrictions will be dropped June 7.
The state has been working with the CDC on removing any reported vaccinations that were duplicated because state officials said they want to make sure the state has really hit 80% when restrictions are lifted. Smith said that’s why the CDC numbers may show Vermont as being a little ahead of what the state is reporting.
Michael S. Pieciak, commissioner of the Department of Financial Regulation, said the state knows which vaccinations are duplicates and awaits the removal of about 8,805 vaccinations from the CDC that were mistakenly counted twice.
The governor has reduced his weekly news conferences from Tuesdays and Fridays to only Tuesdays. Scott said he will hold a special news conference if the state reaches 80% vaccinated before June 8.
Officials said the state continues to lead the nation in its vaccination efforts. Pieciak said Vermont ranks first in the United States when it comes to the percentage vaccinated in both the eligible population and the overall population and doses administered per 100,000 people.
The governor also noted the state only reported two new cases of the virus Tuesday and three people hospitalized with the virus.