Meriden’s COVID cases declining but half the city still not vaccinated

MERIDEN — Less than half of Meriden’s population is fully vaccinated and slightly more than half of the city’s population has had one of a required two shots, health officials said Friday.

Forty-four percent of Meriden’s estimated 59,395 residents, or some 26,134 residents, are fully vaccinated, according to a report released Friday by city Department of Health and Human Services Director Lea Crown.

The individual breakdowns of groups of residents who have been vaccinated is encouraging, Crown said, with the most vulnerable to the deadly illness the segment that is most heavily vaccinated, but the city still has a long way to go before everyone will have had their shots.

“We have really flattened out within the last two weeks with the cases we have had and I would like to think that this has to do with the vaccine,” Crown said. “My biggest concern is that people are still hesitant to get the vaccine. We know that it is safe and effective, but there is still people who are hesitant.”

Three clinics next week that will welcome walk-ins and are open to the public will hopefully take a bite out of the pool of unvaccinated residents, Crown said.

Hartford HealthCare will hold a clinic on Monday from 3 to 6 p.m. at the Augusta Curtis Cultural Center, 175 E. Main St. The city health department will hold one on Thursday from 3 to 6 p.m. at the Meriden Senior Center, 22 W. Main St., according to a department announcement. 

A third clinic, at Maloney High School, will be held from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. on Saturday, June 12 for residents who need their 2nd dose of the Pfizer vaccine, Crown said. Many 12- to 15-year-old residents will likely be vaccinated at the school, she said.

Statewide, only 82 patients were hospitalized with coronavirus as of Thursday, according to the state’s coronavirus dashboard. Meriden, Wallingford, Southington, Cheshire, Berlin and North Haven all had less than five cases estimated over the last two weeks, according to the state.

The Maloney High clinic will likely address one of the groups most in need of vaccination — Meriden residents ages 15 to 44, which according to the report, have a vaccination rate of about 48.7%. 

The city’s highest percentage of vaccinations is among seniors, with an estimated 92.62% of residents age 65 and older vaccinated at this point. Some 72.82% of city residents ages 45 to 64 have been vaccinated, according to Crown’s report.

The Hartford HealthCare clinic will offer Pfizer first- and second- and Johnson & Johnson single-dose vaccines, while the city clinic will offer the Moderna and Pfizer first and second doses. Those under the age of 18 must be accompanied by a parent or guardian at both clinics.

Hartford HealthCare will schedule second doses where necessary and the second doses necessary at the city clinic will be offered at the senior center on July 8.

nsambides@record-journal.com203-317-2279Twitter: @JrSambides

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