Meet people where they need to provide COVID vaccines

UConn Health is deploying the FEMA Mobile Vaccination Unit to four cities in Eastern Connecticut for nine days starting today in East Hartford.

In the ongoing effort to bring the vaccine to communities and people in socially vulnerable areas, Connecticut opened the country’s first FEMA Mobile Vaccination Unit (MVU) on March 29. UConn Health was chosen along with three other health systems to provide clinical supervision and staff to support the MVU. This initiative is in partnership with FEMA, the Connecticut Governor’s Office and the Department of Public Health.

UConn Health is deploying the MVU to four cities in eastern Connecticut for nine days starting today in East Hartford. MVU will later travel to the towns of Killingly, Windham / Willimantic and Norwich as part of a large-scale vaccination campaign to bring the vaccine to underserved communities and reduce barriers to receiving the vaccine.

Locations are based on the Center of Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) Social Vulnerability Index, US Census Bureau community resilience estimates, low immunization coverage, metrics, and other barriers to access. vaccines.

“At UConn Health, we are deeply committed to addressing health disparities and improving access to health care. In fact, as the only public academic medical center in the state, these are part of our core values, ”says Dr Andrew Agwunobi, CEO of UConn Health. “We are proud to be part of this Federal Mobile Immunization Unit initiative that will make a real difference in getting the vaccine to people and communities with underserved populations.

East Hartford officials including State Representative Henry Genga, Saud State Senator, Mayor Marcia Leclerc, City Council Member Awet Tsegai and Anne Horbatuck, UConn Health

On the first day of the vaccination unit, officials from East Hartford including Mayor Marcia Leclerc, State Senator Saud Anwar, State Representative Henry Genga and City Council Member Awet Tsegai are came to visit and see the vaccination unit in action.

“It’s a blessing with the help of FEMA and the State of Connecticut, UConn Health is coming to people and settling in the community to allow our residents to get vaccinated and beat this terrible disease,” said Genga.

Throughout the day, a constant flow of people with or without an appointment came to get vaccinated.

Yiovannie, a resident of East Hartford, said: “I was a hard ‘NO’ to get the vaccine, even last night this morning I saw a leaflet in my apartment about this site and I realized how easy that would be. She felt something come over her and she and her four year old went downstairs and were the first to get the vaccine. “Everything went very well and I’m ready for my second date. I’m so happy I’m going to get my sister and bring her too.

“The vaccine saves lives,” says Senator Anwar, who is also a doctor. “We have to recognize that this virus multiplies and mutates. Getting the vaccine is a benefit for society and the state, if you haven’t already, get vaccinated, ”he insists.

UConn Health is engaging its students and other interns to contribute to this mobile vaccination initiative. Students and faculty members from schools of medicine, dentistry, pharmacy, nursing and our Department of Public Health Sciences, as well as our residents in medicine and dentistry, volunteer to support FEMA’s mobile immunization unit.

The Pfizer vaccine will be given to all people 16 years of age and over who have not yet been vaccinated. Persons aged 16 and 17 must be accompanied by a parent or legal guardian. An appointment for the second dose will be made on the day of your first vaccination. Eligible individuals are strongly encouraged to make an appointment in advance by calling UConn Health’s dedicated vaccination mobile unit scheduling line at 860-679-6547. The phone line is available Monday to Friday, 8 a.m. to 4:30 p.m.

The mobile unit is ready to vaccinate 400 people per day. Appointments are strongly encouraged but walk-in visits are welcome.

UConn Health is partnering with East Hartford, Killingly, Willimantic and Norwich for the following dates and locations:

April 28 and 29 – 936 Silver Lane, East Hartford (formerly Showcase Cinemas)

April 30 and May 1 – Killingly Commons 581 Hartford Pike, Dayville, CT, 06421

May 2 – Elks Lodge # 1311, 198 Pleasant Street, Willimantic, CT 06226

May 3 and 4 – Regional fire school, 1 fire school road, Willimantic, CT 06226

May 5 and 6 – St Mary’s Church, 70 Central Ave, Norwich

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