NEW BRITAIN, Conn. (WTNH) — Educators are among those eligible to get their COVID-19 vaccine. In New Britain, a massive vaccination effort is underway to get as many educators and school employees vaccinated as possible as fast as possible.
“I’m happy to have been given the opportunity to be given my first dose,” said Jessica Planas, a Vance Elementary School teacher.
Planas was one of hundreds of educators who got vaccinated on Wednesday.
“We get into teaching because we want to be with students, so this is a sign of positivity and [that] normalcy is somewhere within reach,” said Planas.
The clinic at New Britain High School has been up-and-running since January. There’s been a push, since the start, to get more doses.
“In the beginning, we were only getting 100 doses a week,” explained Francine Truglio, Nursing Supervisor with the New Britain Health Department. “I know the mayor really lobbied for us and they increased us to 200. This week, we got 600, so we’re very excited.”
Truglio said those 600 doses are going to educators.
“Every dose counts and every shot you can get into someone’s arm makes a difference,” said Truglio. “People are so grateful, and I wish I had enough doses to do everybody.”
It’s been all hands on deck to make this happen.
Nancy Sarra, superintendent of the Consolidated School District of New Britain, thanked her team and nurses for playing a big part in this.
“We had them trained as vaccinators early on,” explained Sarra. “It was our local health department and our department saying, let’s have a really good clinic ready for when the vaccine comes, and it paid off!”
New Britain Mayor Erin Stewart also released a statement about the clinic: “Today is an exciting day for New Britain’s educators. Students thrive when they are in the classroom with their teachers and peers, so getting educators vaccinated so students can come back to school safely has been a top priority. I am thrilled that my office and our health department have been able to work directly with the Connecticut Department of Public Health to secure vaccines that are making these clinics possible for our educators.”
On Friday and Saturday, 300 more educators will be vaccinated at the clinic.