Stamford Clinic vaccinates beach goers at Cove Island Park

STAMFORD – Gone are the days of searching for a COVID vaccine in Stamford.

Appointments at Stamford Health are readily available for larger parts of the week. The state has announced that mobile vaccination clinics run by the Federal Emergency Management Agency will be set up in the city. People have been shot in the Government Center and in their apartment buildings. And during the weekend, residents even got the hang of it on the beach – no appointment necessary.

The community health center has joined a growing list of health care providers who have ditched registration to bring the doses directly to people’s doors, or in this case, right to their shoreline on Saturday and Sunday by holding a clinic. vaccination at Cove Island Park.

The clinic is part of a new city-wide strategy to break down barriers to immunization by placing sites “where people tend to go,” in the words of Mayor David Martin. The city has been promoting a wave of clinics coming to community hot spots. In most cases, people could pre-register or show up the same day.

But CHC chose to reject nominations for its Cove Island business altogether. This is part of the news ABC vaccine initiative, which represents amusement parks, beaches and chambers of commerce.

For Stamford, Cove Island Park seemed like a logical starting point.

“It’s loved in the town of Stamford, and a lot of people go there. While people go there to relax, they also have a little extra time to get their shots, ”said CHC Regional Vice President Amy Taylor.

And while the perfect sunny day the CHC and the city were hoping for didn’t really materialize for the clinics, community members showed up anyway. Thanks to their joint venture, 50 people were shot on Saturday, and 80 more the following day.

Across the country, enthusiasm for the Johnson & Johnson vaccine has plummeted. The New York Times reported that the number of daily doses given for the single-dose vaccine stagnated during the federally mandated immunization hiatus. Even after the government reauthorized the vaccine on April 23, the number of doses of J&J distributed remained low.

Staff at the Cove Island Park clinic witnessed this reluctance, but on a much smaller scale. While 130 people received the single-dose vaccine over the weekend, four chose not to continue with Pfizer’s Moderna vaccines, which CHC provides at its two other Stamford sites. These two sites have also eliminated the appointment requirement.

Kimberly Metcalf, associate vice president of pharmacy at UConn Health, said these pop-up clinics represent a new phase in vaccine awareness.

“Supply and demand have changed. We noticed that the demand started to drop, and the supply? We are still receiving the same quantities as before, ”said Metcalf. The filing forced vaccine vendors like UConn Health and CHC to be creative in their approaches.

“With this flip you’re going to see that a lot of vendors are just doing it,” she said. His organization also made the switch, as removing barriers such as online portals erases the idea that getting vaccinated is tedious. Additionally, holding immunization events in less clinical settings could help alleviate challenges associated with immunization, she said.

Vaccinating more and more people has become the top priority for civil servants. Nearly 30 municipalities and local health departments in Connecticut have received $ 13 million in federal grants to partner with community organizations and increase access to vaccines.

With more than 50% of inhabitants vaccinated, the biggest obstacle is yet to come: vaccinating the most hesitant half.

Metcalf isn’t sure if pop-up clinics will be the silver bullet, but she said it’s up to healthcare providers to try everything. She hopes more accessible clinics will also create space for even more vaccine discussions. She hopes those who are skeptical will even have the chance to speak to a health care provider on the beach and voice their concerns.

“As clinicians, we are passionate about helping people. We are happy to make ourselves available to have these difficult conversations with people who are very much against the vaccine, ”she said. “Let’s have a good, healthy conversation around this and respect each other’s points of view. Let’s see what we can do.

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About Christopher Easley

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