CHESHIRE — The past weekend, the Chesprocott Health District held its first COVID-19 vaccine clinic at Community Pool.
Chesprocott received 200 doses of the Moderna vaccine, and has begun the Phase 1A vaccination process. Another vaccine clinic was held Wednesday.
“We’ve received the Moderna vaccine from the state due to the fact (that) storage requirements for the Pfizer vaccine are (ones we cannot meet),” said Town Manager Sean Kimball. “We are looking to start vaccinating our first responder workforce in the first weeks of January.”
School Superintendent of Schools Jeff Solan addressed vaccination at an end of the year event for staff late last month.
“We are excited to announce, we should be rolling out vaccines around the time of February break,” he said. “It is not mandatory that you get the vaccine, but it is recommended.”
While there has been a lot of confusion on social media over who exactly qualifies for the Phase 1A vaccination, the Connecticut Department of Public Health states that those who fall under that umbrella include all healthcare personnel, long-term facility residents, and first responders who are at risk of exposure to COVID-19. Health care personnel is defined as all doctors, nurses, pharmacists, school nurses, death care workers, custodial, dietary, and administrative staff, as well as home health providers and dentists.
“The clinic went phenomenally on (Jan. 2),” said Director of Chesprocott Maura Esposito. “We had some hiccups, but they were barely noticeable.”
To ensure that only Phase 1A-qualified individuals receive the vaccine, Esposito is adhering to new guidance from the state, recently received by Chesprocott.
“We have to have a sign out displaying what phase we are on, and our nurses need a verbal confirmation before giving out the actual vaccine,” she explained. “If you are not a member of the Phase 1A, we will ask you to leave.”
The protocols are, in part, necessary due to misinformation that has been spreading online about who falls under the Phase 1A qualifications, Esposito said. When employers have sent out email invitations to employees to make a reservation to get a vaccine, some of the emails may have been sent to those that don’t qualify under Phase 1A.
“People may have forwarded emails to other people in order to get a vaccine reservation, but these vaccines right now are strictly for those who are in the Phase 1A, and no one else,” she said.