Like each Saturday this month, volunteers were working this weekend at Dunkin' Donuts Park. Since Feb. 6, these volunteers have helped vaccinate hundreds of Hartford residents. Still, much more work lies ahead.
Among those at the park’s vaccination clinic Saturday was Hartford Mayor Luke Bronin, who had a message.
“We want to make it as easy as possible,” he said, while outlining the measures the city has taken to streamline the process.
Bronin explained that people can either call 3-1-1 or go to the city’s website and fill out a vaccine interest form. Someone will then respond to help register appointments. The city will even provide transportation if necessary.
“If someone you know or love is eligible for the vaccine and hasn’t gotten it yet, help them do that,” said Bronin, encouraging all eligible city residents to sign up.
The city of Hartford has a population of more than 122,000 people. However, according to recent data posted on the state’s COVID-19 information site, only 7.64% of them have initiated the vaccination process. That is among the lowest percentages in the state and health officials working at Dunkin' Donuts Park want to change that.
“The main reason we are here is to prevent death in our community,” said Monique Campbell, a public health nurse for the city of Hartford.
Among the goals of using Dunkin' Donuts Park was to create a centrally located clinic that would allow for an equitable distribution of the vaccine. As a state representative, Joshua Hall toured the operation and he vouched for those efforts.
“We recognize that what we see here today, we see that diversity exists here in Hartford,” said Hall. “We see that the vaccine is being truly rolled out to those who need it the most.”
With just days until the state enters its next vaccination phase, thousands more will soon be eligible. Bronin urges all to take advantage.
“This is got to be a community effort. Where all of us come together and help one another get the vaccine,” he said.