MERIDEN — The Federal Emergency Management Agency’s COVID-19 Mobile Vaccination Unit came to a parking lot near the former Meriden-Wallingford Hospital this weekend.
The unit administered the Pfizer vaccine from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. both days in the lot at 13 Orange St. Those who received a first dose this weekend are scheduled to get a second does May 15 and 16.
Lea Crown, the city’s director of health and human services, said Meriden was approached by the state to see if it would host the mobile vaccination unit.
“Once a date and site was determined, our department and John Yacovino, the city emergency management director, worked with Trinity Health, the vaccine provider, and representatives from the CT department of homeland security on logistics,” Crown said.
Trinity Health had the capacity to vaccinate 400 people per day. As of Friday, Crown said 447 people had pre-registered. Walk-ins were welcomed both days.
On Sunday morning, even though it was cold and rainy, people started lining up before 9 a.m.
Jessica Guerrero, who was in line, said it is important for the community to get vaccinated.
“I have a young daughter, me and her both suffer from a lot of immune disorders and things like that so I just think for everyone’s safety, for everyone’s health, it is important to get vaccinated,” Guerrero said.
Guerrero is not concerned about side effects.
“When I got the chickenpox vaccine, literally I got the chickenpox after so if I do get COVID after, it’s just part of the immune system,” Guerrero said.
Quan Le, a student who was in line when the site opened up, said after he gets vaccinated he is looking forward to feeling more comfortable being with others again.
“We still have to wear masks and whatnot, so we have to be careful…but just like being able to see more friends and things like that,” Le said.
Members of the Connecticut National Guard helped at the vaccination site.
“It’s just super important having (the FEMA unit) that can go and reach out to different communities and bring access to places that may otherwise have some access challenges so it is super rewarding being able to assist with that,” said Capt. David Pytlik, public affairs officer for the state National Guard.
Crown said she hopes that members of the community take advantage of the FEMA vaccination unit and future sites, such as the Griffin Health mobile vaccination unit that will be in Meriden every Monday throughout May at the Augusta Curtis Cultural Center. The Moderna vaccine will be administered between 10 a.m. and 4 p.m., and walk-ins are welcomed