NEWPORT CITY — North Country Hospital has been awarded a contract to participate in a mass COVID-19 vaccination clinic in the Newport area.
Brian Nall, chief executive officer of NCH, said Thursday that the hospital expects to eventually be able to vaccinate as many as 300 people a day.
The mass clinic could begin vaccinations by the end of February or early March, depending on the availability of doses of vaccines to prevent infection from the COVID-19 virus.
Nall made the announcement during the hospital’s annual business meeting early Thursday evening, held for the first time by Zoom with about 50 people participating.
The hospital started posting positions and hiring new staff last week in anticipation of the mass clinic, Nall said.
“I can report tonight, that as of 24 hours, the hospital has been awarded a contract to participate in a mass vaccination clinic in our community,” Nall said.
More news about the clinic is expected to come out over the next few days, Nall said, as part of Vermont’s efforts to vaccinate the population of those 75 years old and older.
He said to expect that the Vermont Department of Health will launch the clinic, and include the Kinney Drug pharmacy chain in the effort.
He warned that there will be a low number of doses of the vaccine available at first, as few as 50 to 150 doses a week at first.
Then Nall said he expects that the clinic will ramp up to 300 people a day.
The hospital has vaccinated more than 1,000 people so far with the first dose, Nall said. The current vaccines in circulation require two doses for full efficacy.
“Through this experience, we now understand what it’s going to take to vaccinate our community,” Nall said.