This week Yale New Haven Health’s vaccination efforts moved from mass clinics to local churches, increasing their reach by going smaller and being flexible.
“I don’t think there’s one way to do this,” said Marna Borgstrom, CEO of Yale New Haven Health and Yale New Haven Hospital. “I think you have to try a little bit of everything and what works in one community will not work in another and we’ll have to pivot.”
Yale New Haven Health joined the trend of taking the vaccines right to neighborhoods that traditionally have barriers to healthcare access and barriers to getting the vaccine.
“We hope that by coming to this community we are providing accurate information and will also change the fears and encourage more people to be vaccinated,” said Dr. Keith Churchwell, president of Yale New Haven Hospital.
Thursday’s clinic was held at Christian Tabernacle Baptist Church in Hamden where 54 people were registered for a shot.
“I think this is a wonderful initiative because when you think about it collectively, it takes a village to make things happen,” said Walter Luckett, who received a vaccine.
“Yale New Haven has been an amazing, amazing asset,” said Hamden Mayor Curt Leng.
Yale’s clinic expands vaccination efforts in Hamden. The town has also partnered with Cornell Scott-Hill Health Center to offer vaccines three times a week.
The most recent state data for Hamden show 61% of people ages 65 to 74, and 72% of residents 75 and older have received a first dose.
“I actually had an appointment at the end of the month but because I was able to get in here, I’m actually here almost four weeks early,” said Cynthia Farmer Streeter.
This is the second clinic for yale. The first was at Bethel AME Church in New Haven on Tuesday, and there are plans to host more in Bridgeport and New London.
The goal is to make it as easy and as comfortable as possible to get a vaccine.
“We want to get everybody who is eligible and willing vaccinated period because I think that’s the only thing that is going to allow us to get back to a new normal,” said Borgstrom.