WEST HARTFORD — Vaccine distribution is forging ahead in the area, with the West Hartford-Bloomfield Health District intending to have at least a couple hundred more people vaccinated in the towns it covers by the end of the week, according to health district leadership.
As of Tuesday morning, about 300 people had received doses of the Moderna vaccine across West Hartford and Bloomfield from the district, according to West Hartford-Bloomfield health district Director Aimee Krauss. She expected there would be “little bit over another 100” from Tuesday’s clinic in West Hartford — the “first open clinic for individuals that are eligible under 1A” — and about as many more in a Bloomfield clinic on Thursday.
Since the initial delivery of 500 vaccine doses on Dec. 23, the district has received two more shipments — 100 doses Jan. 4 and 200 more Monday, Krauss said. The district is planning to start giving residents second doses starting near the end of the month, she said.
“We’re not holding doses,” she said. “However we’re still trying to run those clinics for the second doses as well as the open public clinics.”
Separate from the district’s clinic Tuesday, the majority of residents at Hoffman SummerWood, a senior living facility in West Hartford, got Pfizer doses that day from CVS employees, according to Sophia Cannavo-Ostroski, the facility’s marketing and admissions coordinator. Arnold Helfand, a 100-year-old resident at Hoffman SummerWood, was one of them.
“Very simple,” Helfand said of the experience. “Much easier than I thought.”
Cannavo-Ostroski said about 98 percent of their Hoffman SummerWood residents got a dose Tuesday.
The district is planning to start shots under Phase 1B on Jan. 18, according to Krauss. She expects additional information from a state advisory group meeting later this week.
Phase 1B covers people who are 75 and older, as well as “(f)ront line essential workers” and “(i)ndividuals and staff in congregate settings,” according to the state’s website.
In that phase, educators are being eyed to join the ranks of those getting doses. Krauss said they’ve been working with the Board of Education to conduct a potential survey, taking a look at the number of people interested in getting vaccinated.
As distribution continues, the district will also have more people able to help with the vaccinations. West Hartford paramedics went through training online as well as “a clinical piece” to assist with the injections, Krauss said, and they’ll be doing so moving forward.
Some Middletown officials, including the mayor, recently got flack for getting vaccinated outside of the recommended phase. Krauss said that hasn’t happened in the West Hartford-Bloomfield health district.
Thus far, Krauss said she didn’t know of any allergic reactions from getting the vaccine within the district, though some people have had sore arms a few days following the injection.
In the future, Krauss said they are aiming to have clinics each Thursday in the town auditorium for those within the system. The health district uses the Vaccine Administration Management System, which stores distribution-related details.
Krauss said the district is keeping tabs on the number of doses they have to ensure there’s enough to cover inoculations planned for the coming weeks.
“I want to get this vaccine in people’s arms,” she said.