Vernon's mass COVID-19 vaccination clinic is expanding its capacity to get more shots into arms. It's the latest effort by state and local health leaders to get closer to herd immunity.
The clinic vaccinated more than 460 individuals on Saturday and health leaders said that they're ready to vaccinate more patients as long as they have the supply.
"We're ready to ramp up and we're hoping to do upwards of five [hundred] to 700 per day and not just once a week," said Michael Purcaro, the emergency management director for the Town of Vernon. "Today is an extraordinary effort by the community to help one another."
Philip and Janet Aieta said they weren't sure if and when they would get their COVID-19 vaccines.
"We've been trying for the last 2-3 weeks or so and my wife has been on the phone constantly," said Philip Aieta. "We've been trying for a while and it's been hard."
Their perseverance along with a little bit of luck and the telephone allowed them both to get their appointments at the Vernon Senior Center.
"I was very, very happy," said Janet Aieta. "Definitely feel a heck of a lot better because we've been pretty much isolated for the last 11 months," said Philip Aieta.
The clinic has expanded its capacity to get people in and out. There are now eight vaccinators set up inside the center. Each station is comprised of first responders, health care workers even school nurses, like Michelle Harlow.
"The entire town has worked together to make sure that we get everyone vaccinated," said Harlow. "It's nice to be able to talk to them, so many of them have been isolated in their homes and they're excited to have that personal interaction with someone even if it's with masks."
Medical leaders are hoping the supply will increase through the next couple of weeks and months.
"We are ready to get the vaccines out to people as soon as possible," said Daksh Rampal, medical director with Priority Urgent Care of Ellington and Unionville. "We don't want any doses to go to waste."