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Vermont Guard shifts from COVID-19 testing to vaccination

Army Sgt. Lisa Kromer displays a dose of COVID-19 vaccine at the Doubletree Hotel in Burlington, Vermont, March 3, 2021. Kromer is part of the Vermont National Guard's Task Force Coyote, which recently transitioned from offering COVID testing to vaccinations.

Army Sgt. Lisa Kromer displays a dose of COVID-19 vaccine at the Doubletree Hotel in Burlington, Vermont, March 3, 2021. Kromer is part of the Vermont National Guard's Task Force Coyote, which recently transitioned from offering COVID testing to vaccinations.

BURLINGTON, Vt. – The combined Vermont Air and Army National Guard group comprising Task Force Coyote transitioned March 3 from COVID-19 testing to vaccinating the public.

Supporting the Vermont Department of Health, 32 Vermont National Guard Soldiers and Airmen helped direct, register and vaccinate visitors in a reconfigured conference room at the Burlington Doubletree Inn.

“The Vermont National Guard has been a crucial partner in our state’s response to the pandemic,” said Gov. Phil Scott. “They have excelled whenever called upon to assist and they will continue to play an important role with our vaccination rollout strategy.”

“We just wrapped up COVID-19 testing in Saint Albans last week. This is our first vaccination clinic,” said Maj. Dan Dykman, Task Force Coyote commander. He said all Guard members taking part volunteered for the mission.

“We have medics and band members here,” Dykman added. Soldiers with the 40th Army Band were mobilized into quick response forces in 2020 to help combat the COVID pandemic.

“This is a great opportunity to serve the community,” said Army Sgt. Lisa Kromer, a combat medic working at a vaccination station. With Task Force Coyote since the onset of the epidemic in March 2020, Kromer said public reaction to receiving the vaccinations is “mostly one of overwhelming gratefulness, and understandably a little anxiety.”

Dykman said Task Force Coyote is prepared to administer 400 vaccinations per day until March 7, when they will be administered at another location in the southern part of the state.

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