‘We’ve got this!’ Addressing COVID concerns at Waterbury’s Back-to-School rally

Back to School 2021-2022

Back to School Photos 2021-22

WATERBURY, Conn. (WTNH) — A long line of Waterbury families filled Fulton Park Wednesday for the city’s annual “Back to School” rally.

While it was a chance to snag some free school supplies, there was more on parents’ minds other than pens and pencils.

“With the [COVID-19] cases rising in Waterbury we should all be fully vaccinated,” said Gitzia Medina, a Waterbury mother, who brought her five-year-old son Anthony with her as he gets ready to enter the first grade.

This year, there was also a free vaccination clinic set up geared towards trying to vaccinate more people before school starts in Waterbury on Aug. 30.

“The hottest back to school item this year is the vaccination,” said Sen. Richard Blumenthal, who was in attendance Wednesday.

While he was there, news came from Washington D.C. that the CDC and health officials are now recommending COVID booster shots for every American eight months after getting a second vaccine. Those booster shots could start on Sept. 20.

“It’s really encouraging because it means that science here is evolving,” Sen. Blumenthal said.

News 8 asked Waterbury Schools Superintendent, Dr. Verna Ruffin, if her city is ready to open new clinics for teachers to get that booster shot.

“We have clinics. We’re not short on clinics,” Dr. Ruffin said. “And we’re not short on the response to our faculty and our students. And we’ll continue to do whatever it takes to make sure people can get vaccinated.”

Meantime, with all of this going on, parents like Medina have this wish for the upcoming school year: “For everybody to be safe,” she said.

Dr. Ruffin says safety for students and staff is the number one priority and she’s excited for the new school year to begin with in-person learning.

“We’ve got this!” she told News 8.

Copyright 2021 Nexstar Media Inc. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.

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