The former ShopRite on Kane Street in West Hartford will soon become the home of a mass vaccination site run by the town and the West Hartford- Bloomfield Health District.
“We had a vision with the Town of West Hartford that this would be a regional site,” West Hartford- Bloomfield Health District Director Aimee Krauss said.
Krauss said they expect to be giving out 800 to 1,000 doses per week once the site is up and running.
“Our goal is to have it up and running the week of April 5 to be able to provide the vaccines to individuals within the region,” Krauss said.
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The empty store, which was secured rent-free by the Town of West Hartford, is an ideal location, according to those involved.
“We realized this is just a few blocks away from the busway, which is an artery between Hartford and New Britain, obviously 84, a corridor from Hartford going out west,” said Steven Huleatt, head of emergency preparedness at the Capitol Region Council of Governments.
“It’s flat surface parking, no elevators that are needed. This was one of the reasons this site was chosen as well as location for the region,” Krauss said.
The location is also in an area with a high social vulnerability index. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention uses 15 U.S. Census variables to help local officials determine which communities need support before, during, and after a disaster.
“Just its proximity to the west end of Hartford, the southwest side of West Hartford, Newington, New Britain, it just made a lot of sense,” Huleatt said.
Plus, the location is large.
“Once we got inside this building and saw the square footage, it really was ‘boy, I really hope West Hartford can make a deal for this building,'” Huleatt said. "The experience with doing the flu clinics as the weather got colder really made us want to come inside. You can’t predict the wind. You can’t predict cold temperatures, so we really wanted to find some place where people could come inside.”
Once the site is ready, people will be able to register for appointments through the VAMS system.