HARTFORD, Conn. (WTNH) — Friday was Day One for Hartford Healthcare’s three-day mass COVID-19 vaccination clinic for educators at the Xfinity Theater in Hartford.
Hartford Healthcare vaccinated 500 educators Friday. They are planning to do another 1,000 Saturday and another 1,000 Sunday. The idea is to move them through as efficiently and quickly as possible and there is a lot of joy and relief in the air.
Educators told News 8, “I’m feeling thankful and blessed” and “I am relieved and very thankful.”
Everyone from teachers and administrators to cafeteria workers and bus drivers, even student teachers rolling up their sleeves to keep education moving forward during the pandemic.
Mirhada Kuljancic of Newington said, “I have fourth graders, so nine and 10 [years old]. They are in school every day except Wednesdays. It is kind of a relief and both me and my cooperating teacher got [the vaccine]!”
Educators, on the front lines, not only worried about getting the virus but also sidelined every time a student in their class tests positive, as they are required to quarantine. In Hartford Friday they got the Johnson & Johnson one-dose vaccine and it will keep education a top priority as they move through the spring semester.
Deborah Russo of Hartford Healthcare said, “There is so much excitement. Everybody who comes in, it’s almost like a party atmosphere. And they are so relieved to be involved in getting the vaccine.”
This is not Hartford Healthcare’s first mega clinic, as a matter of fact, they have eight others around the state, so they have a process in a formula figured out. They even have a logistic team that stands by and watches the flow of people coming in and out. They make suggestions and tweak it so they can get people through as efficiently as possible.
Greg Jones of Hartford Healthcare said, “We have it down to a science; there is always room for improvement but I think you can talk to the teachers today, it has been a relatively smooth and easy process. Five minutes for the vaccine and 15 to 30 minutes to wait, and then you’re out the door.”
The Xfinity clinic will be back open Saturday and Sunday. But keep in mind, this clinic is only for educators and you must have an appointment to get your vaccine.