HARTFORD, Conn. (WTNH) — Now that frontline healthcare workers are getting vaccinated against COVID-19 and the state is rolling into Phase 1B of vaccine distribution, Hartford HealthCare (HHC) has rolled out the vaccine to other frontline first responders. At a vaccination clinic Wednesday, HHC inoculated the first responders’ community including police and firefighters.
Leaders at HHC say it was an honor to be able to vaccinate the responders with whom they forged a strong network throughout the pandemic. That includes police, firefighters, EMTs, paramedics, and other ambulance personnel.
Hartford Firefighter Brandon Diaz got his vaccine Wednesday at the Hartford Convention Center at HHC’s latest clinic.
He told News 8, “I’m a little nervous but I’m happy to get it done to fight the COVID-19 virus and just do my part to help the community.”
HHC has already vaccinated 20,000 essential workers, including many first responders. Now those numbers will grow.
HHC President and CEO Jeff Flaks said, “Having had 3,000 people come through already from the first responder community is a critical part of the defense within our state as we go forward.”
HHC has had nine vaccination clinics statewide, so far.
Flaks added, “We’re actively working just in the next several days to double the size of our statewide vaccine clinic network so that we can perform vaccines across the state with even greater proficiency, more access to more people and so we can do it more safely.”
Flaks says they have comitted to the state to move the Pfizer vaccine quickly, getting as many doses as possible out within five days of it arriving. The HHC pharmacy team has the logistics ready.
Director of Pharmacy at HHC Eric Arlia said, “We can move that vaccine around; we have the forecasting tools in our system to know how many vaccines we need at each site.”
System EMS Medical Director for HHC Dr. Charles Johndro said, “The EMS community, the first responder community has really risen to the occasion of taking care of patients in an amazing fashion every day, day in and day out.”
We will be sharing more information on those additional vaccine clinics each night as detals are worked out.