The COVID-19 vaccination site at Mohegan Sun, in partnership with Yale New Haven Health, opened on Friday. Appointments are required. Parking is available in the Winter Garage and there are signs directing people to the vaccination site in the Earth Expo & Convention Center.
“It’s a very exciting time. People are happy to be getting the vaccine. Everyone that works at the site, it’s a nice change for us so we love doing it and it’s great to be serving the community,” said Dr. Kevin Torres, the associate chief medical officer at Lawrence + Memorial Hospital.
One of the first appointments was for Jeff Forster.
“I’m nervous because I have a heart condition, so I’ve been kind of freaked out ever since this started. So, I’m excited actually, really excited,” said Forster. Forster is from Old Lyme and qualified to get the vaccine because he works at a nearby hospital.
For Verna Miller, getting the vaccine on Friday was a relief after a very difficult year.
“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,” said Miller, who is from Uncasville.
She had a flight booked for last May but had to cancel it. As for her grandchildren in Connecticut, she’s had to socially distance from them and wears masks.
“When it first started, two of my kids had COVID and the 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.”
For both Miller and Forster, it was difficult finding open appointments in southeastern Connecticut until this location 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,” said Forster.
“It means a lot to get this shot and I was very lucky,” Miller said. “Now the end is near.”
Appointments are required through Yale New Haven Health’s website or through calling the state’s hotline at 877-918-2224.
Appointments are also being offered at Mitchell College in New London.