The New Fairfield and Sherman Covid-19 Vaccination Clinic began vaccinating residents aged 75 and older (per State of Connecticut guidelines) on Wednesday, February 3 at the New Fairfield Senior Citizen Center on Route 37.
All volunteers were trained to run the clinics, and only fully licensed medical personnel administer the vaccines. The towns’ clinic received the Moderna vaccine and scheduled 100 appointments for first doses. Recipients must receive the second dose four weeks after the first vaccination, as this vaccine requires two doses to be most effective. There are also trained medical staff at all clinics to assist those who may have a reaction to the vaccine. For more information on the vaccines, go to www.cdc.gov/coronovirus/2019-ncov/vaccines.
Clinics will be held weekly until there is no longer a mass need. Appointments for Covid-19 vaccinations at the New Fairfield/Sherman clinic and at any Connecticut clinic must be set up through the online Vaccine Administration Management System (VAMS). No walk-ins are allowed. This system is the gateway to make appointments for vaccinations at any clinic, collect relevant health information of those receiving the vaccine, manage vaccine inventories and share information about the vaccine itself. There is no charge for the vaccinations. No one will contact you asking you for your social security number, banking information or any other personal information; the only way to register for an appointment is through VAMS.
Right now the State is allowing only those aged 75 and over and essential medical and first responder personnel to be vaccinated. The next group will be people aged 65 and over and certain frontline essential workers, and the State will announce when these citizens can register for appointments on VAMS. “Due to the short supply of vaccine in New Fairfield, eligible residents may choose to make appointments at clinics available statewide,” said New Fairfield First Selectman Pat Del Monaco. “New Fairfield has information about eligibility timelines and the Vaccine Administration Management System (VAMS) registration process on the town website at www.newfairfield.org. To make an appointment at any area clinic, go to https://portal.ct.gov/Coronavirus/COVID-19-Vaccinations—VAMS-Support.” She added that senior citizens who need assistance registering through VAMS can contact the New Fairfield Senior Center at 203-312-5672 or the State hotline at 877-918-2224 between 8 a.m. and 4:30 p.m. on weekdays.
“We hope to return to our planned schedule of holding Covid-19 vaccination clinics on Tuesdays, Wednesdays and Thursdays from 3:30 to 7:30 p.m. and on Saturdays from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. starting the week of February 22, but won’t know until the State makes its allotment of vaccine doses,“ said Tim Simpkins, Director of Public Health for New Fairfield and Sherman. “If you have an appointment at the New Fairfield/Sherman clinic, please park your car and call 203-450-8030; clinic staff will call you back and let you know when they are ready to see you. Please wear masks, wear short sleeves or loose-fitting clothing, bring an ID and observe all social distance guidelines,” he said.
Del Monaco said that the towns will schedule next week’s clinics on Friday, February 5 after they receive word from the State about how many doses they will receive. “We expect to receive another 100 doses, but will ask for more. We hope vaccine supplies will be more abundant in the next month,” said Del Monaco.
New Fairfield and Sherman will continue to communicate all vaccination clinic details, and possible testing dates, through AlertNow for New Fairfield residents (sign up at www.newfairfield.org), the New Fairfield and Sherman town websites, Nixle for Sherman residents (sign up at www.townofshermanct.org), town Facebook pages and the Town Tribune.
Currently Connecticut is in Phase 1a and early Phase 1b of the vaccination rollout. People between the ages of 65-74 will be next, in February, and frontline essential workers (including teachers/school staff, food service and grocery workers, U.S. postal workers and individuals and staff in congregate settings) and people aged 16-64 with high-risk health conditions as identified by the State of Connecticut will follow, probably in late February/early March. Phase 1c is expected to begin in May, and Phase 2 for the general public in June. Go to ct.gov/covidvaccine to see who qualifies for each stage including comorbidity guidelines.
By J.U. Azzi