From supply shortages to the snowstorm, this week has started off with challenges to get more people in the state vaccinated against the coronavirus.
But on Tuesday hundreds of people who earlier had their appointment canceled at UConn Health received a surprising phone call: an unexpected delivery of doses had arrived.
There was relief for Jim and Rita Bagnall.
“You know the color of the hair here? We want to have it because we don’t want to be in a hospital with COVID,” said Rita Bagnall.
The Simsbury couple got a call on Tuesday to reschedule their COVID-19 vaccine appointment at UConn Health in Farmington.
“Here it is, UConn. You want your shot now? I look at my husband. He says, yes let’s go. So here we are. We’re done and we’re happy,” said Bagnall.
They were among about 1,000 people who had their appointment this week previously canceled because of supply shortages.
On Tuesday teams at UConn Health scrambled to rebook patients after a major feat in the midst of the snowstorm.
“It’s been amazing,” said Joanne Boucher, UConn Health director of Ambulatory Operations.
Boucher said after some help from the state the Connecticut National Guard delivered nearly 1,000 doses early Tuesday morning from another location with more supply.
Facilities stayed open late until 8 p.m. Tuesday to squeeze in as many patients as possible.
“Lifesaving is huge. It eases their anxiety, the unknown,” said Boucher.
UConn also worked to slide some appointments on Monday because of the nor’easter.
Right now vaccinations are open to people age 75 and older, as well as those in congregate settings, nursing homes and health care.
“I think it’s important. Everybody should get the vaccine if they get a chance. It’s only going to make things better in the long run,” said Bruce Nelson of Southington.
UConn says it expects hundreds of more people to receive their vaccine on Wednesday.
The hospital is also working to increase the number of doses it receives in the coming weeks.