NEW BRITAIN â€“ About $60,000 was approved by the cityâ€™s Common Council Wednesday night to help with costs related to the mass vaccination clinics currently operating throughout the city.
In a unanimous vote, the council approved for the contribution to come out of the cityâ€™s ELC funding of $645,876 for the sole purpose of assisting the mass vaccination operations that are hosted by the Hospital of Central Connecticut and Hartford Healthcare.
According to the resolution, the ELC funding is part of the stateâ€™s Department of Public Health and the Centers for Disease Control and Preventionâ€™s epidemiology and laboratory capacity cooperative agreement that is used to support local public health efforts for the purpose of enhancing the detection, response, surveillance and prevention of covid-19 in the state.
Sergio Lugo, the cityâ€™s public health director, said the money has been used to hire an epidemiologist to conduct contact tracing, to hire community case workers to address isolated cases in the city and to allow accessibility to the vaccines.
The state allocation was previously limited to just a hundred doses per week. With the cityâ€™s latest partnership with Hartford Healthcare to open up a mass vaccination site at 1 Liberty Square, Lugo said the site was much needed as a central location and there is a potential the state allocation will increase to between 400 and 800 doses.
â€śThe money will also be used toward vaccinating as many people as possible,â€ť he said.
Gov. Ned Lamont announced earlier this week the state will continue age-based approach to vaccine eligibility and educators and childcare providers will have dedicated clinics in March. Starting on March 1, the age group will expand to age group 55 to 64; March 22 to age group 45-54; April 12 to age group 35-44; and May 3 to age group 16 to 34.
While there is a focus on getting educators and childcare providers vaccinated, Lugo said they will continue to push at all fronts to get all those in the appropriate age groups vaccinated.
â€śWeâ€™re going to be offering a closed clinic, where weâ€™re serving specifically to New Britain residents and our focus now is to get the whole school system vaccinated,â€ť he said, including E.C. Goodwin Technical High School and CREC School.
Hartford Healthcare is also providing an opportunity for New Britain residents to reserve an appointment at 860-826-7690 or 833-943-5721 for access to a limited supply of vaccines.
â€śAs long as vaccines are available, my push with our partners is still to continue with as much service as possible,â€ť Lugo said.
Some available sites in the city include Walgreens on Washington Street, CVS on Columbus Boulevard, Community Health Center on Washington Street, the New Britain Hospital and the cityâ€™s Public Health Department clinic at New Britain High School.