Vermont using federal COVID money as carrot in school vaccination push

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ONLY FOR THE VACCINATED: Schools that maintain high vaccination rates will gain access to more federal funds to improve those children’s education.

Vermont will be using federal COVID-relief funds as incentives to get schools to push vaccinations on young children.

“I want to provide an update on our student vaccination incentive program that we talked about earlier this fall; we do expect to launch this program later this week,” Education Secretary Dan French said Tuesday in the governor’s weekly press conference. “Under these programs schools can qualify for grant awards as they achieve a high vaccination rate among their student body.”

French said money intended as federal emergency relief for COVID-19 will be used to fund this vaccination program.

“We designed this program, which is funded through federal COVID dollars, to not only encourage vaccination, but also to involve students more directly in the use of these grant funds at the school level,” he said. “We wanted to wait to apply for this program until 5-to-11 vaccination was fully up and running so the elementary schools could participate as well.”

In total, the state has received at least $5 billion in COVID-related federal aid since early 2020.

French said more information on the program would come later this week.

The push to vaccinate children comes as youth continue to face little to no statistical risk of dying from COVID-19, yet COVID cases are rising among the vaccinated. Vermont Health Department reports indicate that “to date there have been 202 hospitalizations and 85 deaths among the 7,622 cases of vaccine breakthrough.” The data is current as of Nov. 17.

According to health department data up to Nov. 3, young people ages 10 through 29 account for 31 percent of all COVID-19 testing — however, their number of deaths and hospitalizations is negligible. For ages 20-29 there are 5.4 hospitalizations per 10,000 Vermonters and 0.1 deaths per 10,000 Vermonters. Under the age of 20, there are no hospitalizations and no deaths on record.

Nonetheless, Commissioner of the Vermont Department of Financial Regulation Michael Pieciak thanked Vermont parents for getting their children vaccinated at high rates.

“I really want to thank parents and caregivers for going out and getting their 5-to-11-year-olds vaccinated and protected. We want to obviously improve on that, but really, really a good start, and really critical because that age group continues to have about double the case rate of all the other age groups when you look at the most recent data,” he said.

The administration continues to highlight that a majority of the hospitalizations from COVID-19 have been among non-vaccinated populations. What is not known is how many vaccinated versus unvaccinated persons are getting tested for the virus on a regular basis.

On the subject of COVID-19 testing, Pieciak noted that when testing goes down, so does the number of cases.

“Just really quickly looking at campuses, you know testing was down, there was a half a week last week for most college campuses, just very few number of tests reported positive with 17 cases across campus,” he said.

Meanwhile Florida, known for having the least restrictive COVID regulations in the nation, is also the state seeing the least amount of COVID-related activity.

And some other countries, such as Sweden and Denmark, have halted the use of Moderna’s COVID-19 vaccine for people below the age of 18 after discovering possible cardiovascular side effects.

Michael Bielawski is a reporter for True North. Send him news tips at and follow him on Twitter @TrueNorthMikeB.

Images courtesy of Wikimedia Commons/Nate Ivey and Public domain

10 thoughts on “Vermont using federal COVID money as carrot in school vaccination push

  1. At about the 28-minute mark, we hear a concise statement that applies to everything the Vermont DOH is doing wrong. Instead of listening to front-line physicians, the Vermont DOH is listening to the FDA and the CDC in their authoritarian pronouncements that are ultimately guided by what big pharma wants and not by what works.

    Vermont wants to be the leader in this and the leader in that. How about we become leaders in honest science?

    • And at about the 40-minute mark is an important distinction between repurposed drugs and the new drugs that specifically target the virus, like molnupiravir. Repurposed drugs are more effective: they target the host and not the virus, whereas drugs that target the virus necessarily lead the virus to develop escape mechanisms and become resistant to the drug.

    • Jim our state is completely controlled by lobbyists (money) and the United Nations (we willingly ceded power and control to them).

      If you embrace this truth, everything makes sense and fits perfectly. It explains everything as these are the true motives or idols of our leaders.

      Why else would a governor, who is trained as a shop teacher, go against every scientist and watch our people needlessly suffer and literally die? Why would they not use or even allow people to use safe and effective treatments?

      Our state is not a free republic, admitting the problem is the first step toward any recovery. We are owned by lobbyists and political forces outside our state. Sadly we have been indoctrinated willingly into modern slavery.

      Again, admitting where we are is the first step to recovery. We do not have an educational system based upon truth, science and any sense of morality, which is why they have been able to do what they are doing.

      The task before us is large, it will require much change. With a kind and open heart, changing our direction their is hope. We must change our direction, the current path we are on is very wide, it leads to a rather unpleasant place.

      • You know, I’ve been railing against the suppression of safe drugs for some time now. I even wrote an opinion piece on “The Strange Case of Hydroxychloroquine” some time ago that TNR chose not to publish, I think because it was a bit wonky and too early. As I watch the Risch video in pieces (as I have time,) he says exactly what I think needs to happen now: we the people need to get angry about the suppression of these safe treatments. It doesn’t matter if Vermont is controlled by lobbyists or if the VT DOH is blindly following the CDC and FDA, if we, the people, hold their feet to the fire and ask them why they did this when common sense, decency, and science told us that safe drugs/nutraceuticals were the real way out of Covid, then they’d be cornered. There was never any excuse except stupid, blind, ignorant obedience to authorities who were dead wrong, and purposely so. Why? So that the big players could get their way, whether that means money, power, control, all three or just “in it for the (vaccine) money.” It does take a little digging to understand the most important details of what happened, but this is what I and others have been trying to explain. Now doctors are being prevented from using ivermectin, a remarkably safe drug– it’s truly insane, and this sort of abuse isn’t peripheral to what’s happening today with the curtailing of our liberties: it’s at the very core. Virtually everything that’s happened in the past 20 months or so has happened because effective early treatment was deliberately suppressed. Regarding the Governor, he of course has to listen to Dr. Levine, who doesn’t have the courage to stand up and speak the truth. We need the people to get angry about what they did to us, deliberately.

  2. People in Vermont are needlessly dying because they are not getting proper medical care for Covid-19.

    Here’s a news article….

    Our leaders fail to understand basic concepts of medical and science. They do, however, understand the corruption of power and money, for which many Vermonters and Americans will needlessly die.

    One needs to be able to discern propaganda from truth. Propaganda, really good propaganda generally has truth in it, but distorts the picture to convince people of something that is not true.

    What sayeth the Uniparty? Nothing. What doeth the Uniparty? Nothing.

    If one loved their neighbor, they would not deny safe, effective and very inexpensive medical treatment that would save their life!!!!!!

  3. Body counts for Federal (taxpayer $) kickbacks. It’s been that way since the very beginning. If it wasn’t for COVID and Biden bucks, the State would be insolvent. Federal welfare is keeping Vermont afloat for now. It goes along with our reputation of being one the easiest States to get welfare. Only California is bigger. All the dregs of society come to Vermont for handouts and welfare benefits because it is so easy to get. Anywhere there is a courthouse, there is a huge caseload of recipients and first time applicants. Watched this scam going on for decades now and VT is fully dependent on Federal (taxpayer $.) The COVID scam and all the trappings that go along with it is the only reason Vermont is not completely flat broke busted.

    • Thank you Leahy and Bernie for setting that up for us.

      What’s really sad is we’ve ALWAYS had the potential to be a destination state for permaculture and ecotourism. THAT kind of MODEL is worth pursuing.

  4. So we’re essentially giving more borrowed gov. $ to the wealthiest, whitest, most left leaning schools….can’t say im surprised. Get your kids out of the government schools!!!!

  5. We have very solid science that these vaccines increase endothelial inflammatory markers and the risk of acute coronary syndrome (ACS) according to a paper published November 8, 2021, in which patients in a preventative cardiac practice had been routinely monitored for biomarkers that indicated endothelial inflammation and risk for ACS. It was noticed that these biomarkers dramatically increased after vaccination.

    The cells that line our blood vessels are endothelial cells.

    Five days before the FDA meeting to review whether to give approval for the Pfizer vaccine in 5-11 year olds, a paper by a leading cardiologist called “A Report on Myocarditis in the U.S. Vaccine Adverse Events Reporting System (VAERS) in Association with Covid-19 Injectable Biological Products,” which had been peer-reviewed and accepted for publication in Current Problems in Cardiology and published on-line, was inexplicably and permanently removed. Thus, there was (conveniently) no official documentation of cardiac problems with the mRNA vaccines for the FDA to consider. Imagine that.

    Approving these vaccines for 5-11 year olds is ignoring the risk/benefit profile. The Vermont DOH says it’s following the science that the CDC and FDA put out but they might as well come out and say that they all have a very selective reading of the science and they prefer to have blinders on and see only what they’re instructed to see. When children do come up with cardiac problems– a possibility inconveniently demonstrated by the removed (not retracted!) paper on VAERS reports– then they’ll all shuffle around and look at each other and do this test and that test and wonder how on earth such things could be happening. Or better yet, blame it on the Omicron variant. Perfect gaslighting, something our beloved experts could write the book on as it’s the only thing they’re really good at.

    Science and data, indeed. You mean, remove the science you don’t like and ignore the inconvenient data and then presto! You have your “science” and your “data.”

  6. Where the money comes from is the least of my worries. But that the State is ‘pushing’ vaccination on Vermont’s children bothers me no end. After all, there are more than 100,000 kids in Vermont 18 years old and younger. None of them have been vaccinated, until just recently, for the duration of the pandemic – for nearly two years now. Meanwhile, only six have required hospitalization from Covid infection and none have died. Why is the State ‘pushing’ vaccines on a group of children with so little risk?

    Why is the State ignoring the long-term benefits of Natural Immunity and ‘pushing’ a vaccine that needs a booster every six months or so?

    What long term studies has the State considered that prove there are no long-term side-effects to our children’s natural immune system when vaccines are injected in them on such a regular basis?

    Why does the State, AND the pharmaceutical industry, not provide the legal liability recourse that is expressly denied with vaccines injected under Emergency Use Authorization?

    I’ve been asking these questions for weeks. No one will answer.

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