Next week about 650,000 more people will become eligible for the COVID-19 vaccine in Connecticut. The next phase of eligibility in the state includes people who are ages 55+ along with school personnel.
In the northeast corner of the state, providers are preparing vaccination plans for the next phase.
"Because the phase is about to open to so many hundreds of thousands of people, the coordination of this effort is paramount," explained Linda Colangelo, the education and communications coordinator for the Northeast District Department of Health.
The state has directed local health districts to coordinate vaccination plans for people who work in schools. There are 41 schools across 12 districts within the NDDH region.
In order to vaccinate all eligible people, NDDH is teaming up with Day Kimball Healthcare.
“It takes a village to educate a child, well it takes a village to vaccinate all the teachers as well," said Kyle Kramer, CEO at Day Kimball Healthcare. "We are actually going to be taking the clinics to the teachers so that it is convenient for teachers, it is convenient for staff.”
Day Kimball and NDDH will divide and conquer vaccinations for the various schools, while also working together to host clinics for some of the larger school districts.
“It will be easier as partnership," said John O'Keefe, the chief nursing officer at Day Kimball Healthcare.
If all goes as planned, the eligible school personnel in the region will receive their first dose by the end of March.
Everything will depend on allocation. The providers learn on a weekly basis how many doses they will be receiving.
Right now, Day Kimball is planning a vaccination clinic at Woodstock Public Schools next Thursday.
"This is just going to expedite the reopening of our schools," said Viktor Toth, superintendent of Woodstock Public Schools.
While Day Kimball and NDDH are working on vaccinating school staff they will still have clinics for the eligible public, but will have limited spaces. Other providers, including the pharmacies, will have more availability. According to the governor's team, the pharmacies are receiving an increase in doses from the federal government.
“The pool is getting very full and that is why community partnerships are vital," said Colangelo. "No one does this alone. It takes all of us.”