Covid-19 Vaccine

Vaccination Clinics Prepare for New Group of Eligible Patients

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For the last couple of months, Vernon's senior center has transformed into a full-size vaccination clinic equipped to provide more than 1,000 shots a day.

On Friday, more than 400,000 people within the state became eligible to start getting their COVID-19 vaccines. The news comes after Governor Ned Lamont announced that the state would be accelerating the timeline in which those 45-54 would be getting their shots.

Connecticut has expanded eligibility for COVID-19 vaccines for people 45 years old and up.

At least 640 first and second doses went into arms at the senior center in Vernon.

"Since those 45 and older have become eligible, we've seen a big demand," said Vernon Police Lieutenant William Meier, who is also Vernon's Town Vaccination Program Director. "We're being told a lot more vaccine is coming into the the state in the coming weeks and we're ready."

The Vernon Vaccine Clinic at the town's senior center has 13 vaccine stations in total.

At least 140,000 doses are expected to arrive next week, according to state leaders and it comes after the federal government let state leaders know there will be a boost in supply.

On Thursday, President Joe Biden announced that his administration will have met the goal of 100 million vaccinations by Friday, 42 days ahead of schedule. Biden noted that 65% of those aged 65 or older, a population that represents 80% of COVID-19 deaths in the United States, have received at last one shot, while 36% are fully vaccinated.

In the meantime, town and health leaders are urging the public to expect some delays as they wait for additional doses.

"People need to be patient, we know we're not going to be able to get everyone in the first week," said Lt. Meier. "This is going to take probably 3-4 weeks."

Marianne and Chuck Woodruff live in Somers and came to Vernon's clinic for their second shot.

Chuck Woodruff receiving a band-aid after getting his second COVID-19 shot.

"We've been waiting for a long time for this," said Chuck Woodruff. "It's very convenient and they've been very organized," said Marianne Woodruff.

The Somers couple is glad to get their second shot and are happy to know they're one step closer to seeing their grandchildren and kids.

"We were happy to be together all this time but it's nice to see the rest of the family," said Marianne Woodruff.

Dr. Anthony Fauci explains the threat of the B117 COVID-19 variant and how the U.S. can combat it: by increasing vaccinations and maintaining public health precautions such as mask mandates and social distancing.

Others are excited to know they have some level of protection and can help keep their community safe.

"I feel comforted and protected and I feel like I'm doing God's will," said James Morier.

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