Stratford Health Department to Suspend Use of J&J Vaccine
by Andrea Boissevain, MPH Director of Health
Town of Stratford
On the morning of Tuesday, April 13, 2021, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) and the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) released a statement that they are reviewing data involving six U.S. cases of a rare and severe blood clot in individuals after receiving the J & J vaccine. Out of an abundance of caution, the CDC and FDA have recommended a pause in the use of the J & J vaccine until their investigation into these cases is completed.
“COVID-19 vaccine safety and the health of our residents are our top priorities, states Director of Health Andrea Boissevain, “we will be adhering to the CDC and FDA’s guidance and pausing our use of J&J vaccine in our clinics until it is deemed safe.”
The Stratford Health Department will be offering MODERNA for both their homebound program and for their vaccine clinics. We will await the results of the investigation before proceeding with future use of the J&J vaccine at additional clinics.
If you have any questions, please call the Stratford Health Department at 203-385-4090.
The state is releasing information about how many individuals are vaccinated in all Connecticut communities. As of April 8, 2021, 19,212 or 37.05% of the town’s population had been vaccinated with a first dose. the town’s population had been vaccinated with a first dose.
Stratford clinics have dispensed 8,412 vaccines to date. It’s important to keep in mind that we are part of a larger regional and statewide vaccination network and effort.
Stratford does not vaccinate ONLY Stratford residents – many of residents and first responders have been vaccinated at locations outside Stratford, and conversely, many from outside of Stratford have been vaccinated here. Many residents and first responders have been vaccinated at locations outside Stratford, and conversely, many from outside of Stratford have been vaccinated here.
The Stratford Health Department is partnering with Stratford EMS in order to bring COVID-19 vaccines to residents determined to be “homebound” and unable to safely access the vaccine clinics being offered by Stratford Health. This is being done under the Governor’s executive order 7HHH, and is being called “Operation Homeward Bound” by the Stratford Health and EMS team.
On March 30, the Stratford Health Department partnered with EMS as part of Operation Homeward Bound, and vaccinated 40 homebound individuals.
230 Stratford Educators received their second dose of the Moderna vaccine on April 13th. School nurses were on hand to assist the Stratford Health Department in providing the vaccinations.
The CT Veterans Administration is currently vaccinating veterans of all ages. Upcoming COVID-19 Vaccine Clinics. Veterans (any age) must be enrolled for care with VA to receive the vaccine. Veterans can apply online at https://www.va.gov/health-care/how-to-apply/. Mask and physical distancing required. To maintain physical distancing, if possible, we’re asking patients not to bring anyone with them to the clinic.
Clinics will continue at Birdseye every Tuesday and Wednesday based on vaccine supply and eligibility.
Governor Lamont announced Wednesday that the state plans to accelerate its vaccine program. All adults in Connecticut over the age of 16 will now be eligible to schedule a vaccination appointment beginning April 1st.
Those who are currently eligible to receive the vaccine in Connecticut include:
All individuals over the age of 16;
Medical first responders;
Residents and staff of long-term care facilities;
Residents and staff of select congregate settings; and
PreK-12 school staff and professional childcare providers.
All eligible individuals in Connecticut who would like to receive the vaccine must make an appointment in advance.
*Please Note: Only the Pfizer vaccine has been approved for those aged 16 and 17. Anyone under the age of 18 getting a vaccine must be accompanied by a parent or guardian who must sign associated paperwork. The Stratford Health Department is currently administering the Moderna and Johnson & Johnson vaccines which are approved only for those 18 and older.
Eligible residents can make appointments NOW using the following means:
Healthcare Provider: Many residents have already been or will be contacted to schedule an appointment by their healthcare provider if their provider is participating in the state’s vaccine program. Not all providers are administering the vaccine. A list of participating providers is available at ct.gov/covidvaccine. Residents are urged not to contact their physician or healthcare provider directly for COVID vaccine appointments.
Online: A form can be accessed online at ct.gov/covidvaccine that allows individuals to schedule an appointment through the web-based Vaccine Administration Management System (VAMS).
Telephone: Those without internet access can call Connecticut’s COVID Vaccine Appointment Assistance Line: 877-918-2224. The phone system is targeted to provide support for eligible vaccine recipients who have limited technology access, or who have language, disability, or other barriers that could prevent them from using existing self-scheduling options successfully. The line will take calls on Mondays through Fridays from 8 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. and will offer a call-back option when all contact specialists are busy serving other callers. The team will aim to return calls as soon as possible, with the goal of same-day response.
IMPORTANT: If you are having a second dose of the Pfizer or Moderna vaccine, it must be of the same type as your first dose. The vaccines cannot be mixed.
Registering in the Vaccine Administration Management System (VAMS) provides you with flexibility in securing an appointment at any area clinic, including at the Stratford Health Department.
The Stratford Health Department is opening up appointments based on the vaccine supply given to us by the state. Appointments will open up as soon as we get additional doses. Please continue to check in VAMS for availability
Vaccine clinics require an appointment (no walk-ins accepted) to be made in advance. When viewing the directory of vaccine clinics, click on ‘More Details’ for specific information about how you can schedule an appointment at each location. Some locations offer online scheduling through their website or electronic health record, others allow scheduling by phone, and some locations can be booked through the Vaccine Administration Management System (VAMS).
The state will work with providers and the Department of Developmental Services to accelerate access for the most medically high-risk individuals under 45 during the month of April.
Governor Ned Lamont announced significant planned changes to guidance associated with COVID-19 restrictions. Beginning Friday, March 19, all capacity limits will be eliminated for the following businesses, while face coverings, social distancing, and other cleaning and disinfecting protocols will continue to be required:
Restaurants (8-person table capacity and 11PM required closing time for dining rooms continues)
Indoor recreation (excludes theaters, which will continue to have a 50% capacity)
Museums, aquariums, and zoos
Houses of worship
Gathering sizes will be revised to the following amounts:
Social and recreational gatherings at private residence – 25 indoors/100 outdoors
Social and recreational gatherings at commercial venues – 100 indoors/200 outdoors
All sports will be allowed to practice and compete, and all sports tournaments will be allowed, subject to Department of Public Health guidance
Connecticut’s travel advisory will be modified from a requirement to recommended guidance