Hartford HealthCare plans to open the Toyota Oakdale Theatre in Wallingford as a mass COVID-19 vaccination center Monday, after a successful “dry run” earlier this week.
Testing patient flow, technology and station setup “went really well yesterday,” HHC System Director Eric Arlia said Friday. “I think they’re in great shape and poised to have a very successful opening.”
The Oakdale, 95 S. Turnpike Road, is slated to become one of eight regional mass vaccination centers coordinated by HHC, called “community clinics.”
The other mass vaccination sites are Liberty Square in New Britain, Central High School in Bridgeport, the Hartford Convention Center and the Torrington Armory.
HHC has secured rights to properties at Foxwoods Resort Casino, scheduled to open March 9, and the Xfinity Center in Hartford and Sacred Heart University in Fairfield, both scheduled to open in March.
Patients who received their first vaccine dose at MidState Medical Center in Meriden — Hartford HealthCare is the hospital’s parent company — are slated to receive their second doses at the Oakdale.
“In our hospitals, usually we have some pretty significant space constraints,” Arlia said, “and that’s really been the impetus behind developing the community clinics.”
Arlia said that MidState and the Oakdale are paired sites.
Since Feb. 8, which was 21 days before the Oakdale clinic was scheduled to open and the length between doses of the two-shot Pfizer-BioNTech vaccine, HHC has been setting up second-dose appointments at the Oakdale for all patients who received their first dose at MidState.
MidState, as well as HHC’s other acute care facilities, will continue to offer a small number of appointments in the hospital specifically for patients that have significant risk for severely allergic reactions.
Monday is also when people age 55 to 64, education personnel and professional childcare providers can start making vaccine appointments.
Gov. Ned Lamont announced Thursday that Connecticut is slated to receive 30,000 doses of the Johnson & Johnson single-dose vaccine next week, pending FDA authorization, as well as 100,000 doses of the Moderna and Pfizer vaccines next week.
Arlia said that with the anticipated increase in doses, people should continually check for appointment availability. The HCC portal is called MyChartPlus.
“We often speak with the state, looking at the data around the state and percentages of populations that have been vaccinated in different communities,” he said. “That kind of plays into our decision making when we do our weekly allocation, or we get a supplemental amount of doses from the state.”
HCC Chief Clinical Officer Dr. Ajay Kumar said that the number of COVID-19 patients in the HCC system has decreased to 110 — almost a third of where it was one month ago. Currently, there are 14 COVID-19 patients at MidState.
“It’s a sign of positivity and optimism as we’re turning a corner right now in this pandemic,” Kumar said.
For more information on scheduling a vaccination appointment, visit www.myrecordjournal.com/coronavirus, or www.hartfordhealthcare.org/vaccine to register for the Oakdale site.