VAX Facts: A Shot in the Arm by

by Kaitlyn Shake
Second District Councilwoman and Stratford Health Department Nurse Bernie

The Stratford Health Department held a special vaccination clinic on Saturday, March 6th, specifically for Stratford teachers, eligible staff, eligible support staff such as bus drivers, and day care providers. Many thanks to Our Health Department and EMS in making this vaccination clinic a success where over 500 eligible individuals were vaccinated.

The state is releasing information about how many individuals are vaccinated in all Connecticut communities. As of March 5th, 2021, 8,419 or 16.2% of the town’s population had been vaccinated with a first dose.

Stratford clinics have dispensed 5,706 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.

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.

Stratford EMS is providing EMS personnel who have been qualified as “vaccinators” through the State Department of Public Health and partnering them with another “Healthcare Professionals” like a Registered Nurse, to make up “vaccine teams” to deliver COVID vaccine services to those individuals determined by Stratford Health Department as being “homebound.”

Effective March 1st, VA Connecticut will offer COVID-19 vaccine to enrolled patients regardless of age. Depending on location, VA Connecticut patients will receive either the two-dose Pfizer or Moderna vaccine. Veterans (any age) must be enrolled for care with VA to receive the vaccine. Next date for Veterans is: March 10-12 at the West Haven Annex, 200 Edison Road/Pez Blvd. in Orange from 12-4pm (walk-in with no appointment necessary).

Clinics will continue at Birdseye every Tuesday and Wednesday based on vaccine supply and eligibility. Governor Lamont recently announced that the state will continue taking an age-based approach to distribution of the COVID vaccine, making the following update to the vaccine schedule:

The planned schedule is as follows:
March 1, 2021: Expands to age group 55 to 64
March 22, 2021: Expands to age group 45 to 54
April 12, 2021: Expands to age group 35 to 44
May 3, 2021: Expands to age group 16 to 34

Following the Governor’s orders, our clinics are now open to Stratford residents 55 years of age and older. We are encouraging everyone to register online through the CT DPH portal at https://dphsubmissions.ct.gov/OnlineVaccine. 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.

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).

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)
Retail
Libraries
Personal services
Indoor recreation (excludes theaters, which will continue to have a 50% capacity)
Gyms/fitness centers
Museums, aquariums, and zoos
Offices
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.

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