VA partners with Middlebury for vaccination clinic

By Becca Amen

Courtesy of Robert H Lord
The vaccination clinic will be hosted at Peterson Family Athletic Complex, the college’s athletics center.

The White River Junction Veterans Affairs (VA) Healthcare System has organized a vaccination clinic in partnership with the college that will take place on Saturday, April 10. The clinic will be hosted at the college’s athletics complex, where vaccines will be available to veterans and employees of the Department of Homeland Security.

The health care system, which provides services to veterans in Vermont and the adjoining counties of New Hampshire, has hosted vaccine clinics for veterans at a few locations throughout Vermont since the state’s vaccine rollout picked up in early March. Past clinics have offered the Moderna vaccine, which is administered as a series of two doses that are optimally given four weeks apart, creating the need for a second follow-up clinic. At Middlebury, however, the upcoming clinic will distribute the Johnson & Johnson vaccine, which is administered as a single shot.

Bringing the series of clinics to Middlebury allows for increased and simplified access to the vaccine for eligible groups due to its central location in western Vermont. 

“Partnerships within our communities across Vermont and New Hampshire are the key components in our vaccination deployment,” said Dr. Becky Rhoads, acting director for White River Junction VA Healthcare System in a press release from the college.  “Each large vaccination clinic we are able to offer is one step closer to creating safe communities across our region.”  

President Laurie Patton also commented on the partnership of the college with the VA health care system.

“We are grateful for the opportunity to participate in the Veterans Affairs’ vaccination effort and support the health of local Veterans,” Patton said. “Covid-19 has taught us how critical local partnerships are, and we are happy to join with the White River Junction VA Healthcare System to make this clinic possible.”  

Appointments must be made in advance of the clinic by calling 802-296-5151. Veterans who want to visit the clinic must complete an enrollment application ahead of time by calling White River Junction VA Healthcare System’s Eligibility Office at 802-295-9363 ext. 5118. DHS employees must prove their eligibility by registering with their DHS leadership. 

Vaccines will also be available to the spouses and caregivers of veterans and DHS employees, who can call the first number listed above to schedule an appointment.