On Monday, many more Connecticut residents will be eligible to get vaccinated against COVID-19.
Folks 55 and older, teachers, school staff and child care providers can start signing up for an appointment next week.
“We’ll be changing the logic in our system at 6 o’clock in the morning on Monday, March 1,” said Eric Arila, Hartford Healthcare’s System director of pharmacy.
On Friday, health care systems around Connecticut geared up for an influx of more residents eligible to get vaccinated Monday.
“It’s almost like setting up for a party kind of thing, you’re just like, ‘do we have everything in place? Do we have the plates? Do we have the dishes?’” said UConn Health Vaccine Coordinator Dr. Kimberly Metcalf.
She said UConn Health will be refreshing their computer servers, among many other tasks this weekend, to prepare.
As for available vaccines, she said: “We have what we have and I think we’re making good use of it. It’s really level setting expectations and be patient.”
“I encourage everybody if you don’t see any appointments for the first time that you log into ‘My Chart’ system, I would encourage you to keep trying,” said Arila.
He said to keep an eye out for appointments added mid-week if the state gets a shipment of Johnson & Johnson’s one-dose vaccine. It got emergency use authorization Friday evening.
“Once we know those doses are coming in, we like to get those appointments into our system that day,” he said.
If you haven’t helped a loved one sign up for a shot already, here’s the best way to find a vaccine clinic near you:
- Go to 211CT.org
- Type in your hometown
- Follow the prompts
For those who don’t have internet access or need translation services, the United Way of CT said they’ll be doubling staff picking up calls for the state’s vaccine appointment hotline Monday.
The phone number is 877-918-2224.
They’re expecting some 20,000 calls Monday and they hope to get to at least half of them.
“We all know the next wave of vaccine eligibility will include half a million residents, so that’s a lot of people. And we all know, the vaccine is in shorter supply than any of us would wish. So that means, as the governor and our commissioner of public health has said, we have to ask our friends and neighbors to be patient and to work with us because not everyone who is interested will get vaccinated in that first week, but we will be part of the effort to help as many people as we can given the supply that is available,” said CEO and President of United Way of CT Lisa Tepper-Bates.
Also happening Monday, the Oakdale Theater in Wallingford will become a mass vaccine center. Hartford Health tells us anyone who got their first vaccination at Mid-State Medical Center as of Feb. 8 will go to the theater for their second dose.