Help is on the way for residents of New London County who are trying to get a COVID-19 vaccine, but have no transportation to get to a clinic.
Starting on Monday, Ledge Light and Uncas Health Districts, along with partner agencies, will distribute free bus passes to those who are struggling with transportation.
The buses will be running hourly from 7 a.m. to 7 p.m. Monday through Saturday.
The Southeast Area Transit District (SEAT) has created a new fixed bus route between Norwich and Mashantucket Pequot Tribal Nation to provide direct access to the vaccine center at the Rainmaker Vaccination Site at Foxwoods.
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Some people are just thankful to be able to receive the extra layer of protection.
"I went through COVID, I would not want to go through that again. I know people who have been hospitalized, and spent months on ventilators, and let me tell you this, this is a lot better than all of that," said Yolanda Negron, of Willimantic.
For more information on how to get a bus pass, you can contact:
- Stephen Mansfield at Ledge Light Health District at (860) 448-4882 ext. 1307
- Patrick McCormack at Uncas Health District at (860) 823-1189 ext. 112
- Michael Carroll at SEAT at (860) 886-2631
Who Can Get a COVID-19 Vaccine in Connecticut
- The state started the vaccine rollout in mid-December by vaccinating healthcare personnel, long-term care facility residents and medical first responders.
- As of mid-January, Connecticut residents 75 and older have been able to sign up for an appointment and get a vaccine.
- Connecticut residents 55 and older can sign up and get an appointment.
- Pre-K-12 Teachers, paraprofessionals, custodial staff, food service providers, school bus drivers and childcare providers as well as in-school administrative staff. This group does not include individuals who are not required to work on-site in a school.
- Note: Pre-K-12 school staff and teachers, and professional child care providers will be eligible for the vaccine.
- People 45 to 55
- People 16 and up
Note:To get a vaccine in Connecticut, you must either live or work in the state. If you typically visit a provider here but do not live or work in Connecticut, you are not eligible and must get vaccinated in your home state.
How to Get an Appointment for a COVID-19 Vaccine in Connecticut
By phone: Call Connecticut’s Vaccine Appointment Assist Line at 877-918-2224, seven days a week from 8 a.m. to 8 p.m. for scheduling at select sites.
Online: Schedule a COVID-19 vaccination appointment in VAMS, the Vaccine Administration Management System.
- Fill out the form to let the Department of Public health know you are interested in creating an account in VAMS. If you are currently eligible to receive the vaccine then you should receive an email from VAMS to complete your registration within 12 hours. Click here to create an account.
- Check for an email from firstname.lastname@example.org. Click on the link in the email and create your account. You will be prompted to retrieve a code that will be emailed to you. You will need to create a password and store it in a safe place.
- If you forgot your password, the "forgot password" link on the login page can only be used if you have created a password as part of your VAMS registration.
- Complete your VAMS registration.
- The first question that will be asked in VAMS is “Have you already registered as a vaccine recipient with VAMS?” The answer to this question is “No.”
- Questions with a red asterisk are mandatory.
- Insurance information does not need to be entered.
- You will be prompted to share some additional information about yourself.
- In order for VAMS to recognize your option chosen for race, click on your choice in the box on the left and click the right-pointing arrow to move your choice to the box on the right.
- Use your zip code to search for clinics near you in VAMS.
- The system will automatically search for clinics within a 10-mile radius of your zip code, but you may choose up to 100 miles from the dropdown menu, which might provide more clinic locations in your search results.
- You might need to check multiple clinic locations to find an available appointment. Find a slot that works for you, and book your appointment.