New effort to vaccinate Ansonia, Derby & the Naugatuck Valley

New Haven

ANSONIA, Conn. (WTNH) — At times, it looked like people were lining up for a tailgate party at the Ansonia Armory. There were lots of cars, lines of people, music and banners.

Except this was no football game.

It was a chance for Griffin Health to tackle the spread of the coronavirus in the Naugatuck Valley. Griffin Health hosting the first of four new walk-in clinics in Ansonia and Derby today at the Ansonia Armory.

The City of Ansonia and Mayor David Cassetti — teammates in this effort.

“This is what my goal is — to get as many people vaccinated as possible so we can go back to our normal life,” Mayor Cassetti said.

The city usually holds a vaccination clinic that requires appointments every Thursday at The Armory. However, this clinic was the first walk-in clinic there — meaning no appointment was necessary. All people had to do was show up and get in line and roll up their sleeves.

The goal was to make it easier for people to get their Pfizer shot. By midday, they had given out 400 shots of their 800-shot supply. And more people were showing up and forming lines.

Nancy Thayer brought her brother here to get his shot. She’s worried about the spread of the virus in The Valley since some of the towns and cities in the region have some of the highest COVID case rates in the state, according to the governor’s office.

“It’s scary,” Nancy said. “I just want him to be safe.”

Griffin Health stepping forward by hosting several free, walk-in clinics in Ansonia and Derby, in the coming weeks like today’s.

The upcoming clinics are as follows:

  • Monday, April 26 — Iglesia de Dios Nuevos Comienzos, 101 Elizabeth St. Derby 4 – 7 pm
  • Wednesday, April 28 — Boys and Girls Club of the Lower Naugatuck Valley, 28 Howard Ave. Ansonia 9 am – noon
  • Friday, April 30 — Abundant Life Fellowship Ministries, 195 N. Main St. Ansonia 9 am – noon

The clinics will administer Pfizer or Moderna shots.

“We’ve got to all be vaccinated in order to return to normal living,” said Rob O’Mara of Griffin Health. “Hug our kids. Hug our family. Get out and play. Return to concerts. That’s all important and only can be done if a high percentage of the community is vaccinated.”

As part of the effort to encourage people to come out, Griffin Health enlisted the help of radio station 94.3 WYBC “The Rhythm of the City”. They were broadcasting live outside the clinic. Several community groups that work with people of color, in particular, were also there and told the people they work with about the first clinic in Ansonia and why this is an important effort.

“We have been educating the community based on information that we’ve received from Griffin Health,” said Lisa Savoid of Team, Inc.

As the afternoon went on, WYBC put it this way: “It’s a great thing to be out here helping the community stay safe.”

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