A new COVID-19 mass vaccination clinic opened today at Mohegan Sun.
The clinic is at Mohegan Sun's Earth Expo & Convention Center and operates on an appointment-only basis. The clinic is for Connecticut residents only.
Yale New Haven Health operates the clinic and administers the vaccinations.
Jeff Forster, of Old Lyme, was thrilled to have the opportunity to get vaccinated.
“I’m nervous because I have a heart condition so I’ve been like, kind of freaked out ever since this started. So I’m excited actually, really excited,” Forster said.
Verna Miller, of Uncasville, has had to socially distance from her grandchildren who are in Connecticut and wear masks.
“A very dear friend of mine died two weeks ago from this disease and it’ll be two years since I’ve seen my grandchildren in Europe and the only way I can get to see them is to get this shot,” she said.
Miller had a flight booked for last May, but had to cancel because of the pandemic.
“When it first started, two of my kids had COVID and one here, she was quarantined in the house with the kids, so I would go grocery shopping for them,” Miller said.
“My granddaughter had her birthday and I brought a birthday cake on a tray and stood outside the door and sang "Happy Birthday" to her, so it’s been hard,” she said.
Miller said she feels lucky and it means a lot to get a shot.
The Mohegan Tribe said it values the opportunity to serve as a "hub in Southeastern Connecticut for the state's vaccination efforts."
“The Mohegan Tribe has a long-held philosophy of cooperation and working together with our neighbors, and throughout this pandemic we have practiced those values each and every day,” James Gessner, Chairman of the Mohegan Tribe, said in a statement.
"We are proud to continue to help serve our community, and eager to help Connecticut get as many state residents vaccinated as quickly as possible," Gessner added.
Forster and Miller both said they had difficulty finding appointments close to home until the mass vaccination clinic opened.
“Prior to me getting this schedule here, the only place was like in Bridgeport and Fairfield and Greenwich, so living on this side of the state it was kind of a haul, especially with weather. So it makes it a lot easier for people local,” Forster said.
State residents who are eligible for the vaccine can make an appointment by going to Yale New Haven Health's COVID scheduling website and selecting Mohegan Sun. Residents can also call 877-918-2224 seven days a week from 8 a.m. to 8 p.m. to make an appointment.
“This latest mass vaccination site shows the coordinated effort our state is making with our tribal partners, and our partners in healthcare,” Gov. Ned Lamont said in a statement. “The Mohegan Tribe has taken incredible steps throughout the pandemic to keep its members and residents safe through standing up testing sites, the distribution of PPE, and coordination with the Connecticut Department of Public Health. We will get through this pandemic by working together, especially in vaccine distribution, and that’s exactly what this site represents.”