The wait for a COVID-19 vaccine is underway and East Hartford is already getting prepared for mass distribution once one becomes available.
Saturday marked the second time that the Town of East Hartford has offered flu vaccines for the public. Health leaders said it's important now more than ever to get your flu shot because both COVID-19 and the flu have similar symptoms.
"Our main concern right now would be the coincidence of both the flu season and the COVID pandemic," said Jim Cordier, director of Health and Human Services for the Town of East Hartford. "There's a concern that people could be confused because the symptoms are almost identical for either disease."
The flu clinic had a dual purpose. On one hand, the public can get their flu shot. On the other hand, the town gets to see what improvements are necessary before distributing a COVID-19 vaccine.
"A dress rehearsal for emergency medical countermeasures and mass vaccinating," said Cordier. "This is a serious attempt at polishing and refining our coordination and cooperation with other agencies."
Health officials said one contributing factor to the uptick in cases is COVID fatigue after months of adhering to the state's medical guidelines. East Hartford and state leaders are both urging the public to continue following the guidelines and to get your flu shot as soon as possible.
"You've got to do the social distancing, you've got to do the mask wearing, the hand-washing and avoiding large crowds," said Cordier. "We want the public to remain vigilant and remain healthy throughout the flu season and as we continue to deal with the pandemic."
The Town of East Hartford is hosting two additional flu clinics on Friday, October 23, and Friday, October 30. Both are from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. at the East Hartford Public Library on Main Street.
You must be 18 years old or older and bring some type of identification stating your birthday and address. You must also bring your insurance card.
For more information, please call the Health Department at 860-291-7324.