New Haven faith leaders, city officials renew push for COVID vaccinations, boosters as winter months approach

New Haven

NEW HAVEN, Conn. (WTNH) — As the weather gets colder and the state sees a small but significant uptick in COVID-19 cases, cities and towns across Connecticut are making the push for people to get the COVID-19 vaccine booster.

New Haven leaders joined with clergy Friday to make the case.

Pastors JC Cadwallader of First Presbyterian Church of New Haven and Tim Keyl of Bethesda Lutheran ventured out to get their third shot to protect them against COVID. Both hope their flocks will follow.

“As a pastor, I’m a very visible person in the life of the community,” Cadwallader said. “So if I can use this platform to spread the good news that it’s time to draw together into the community and this is one way we do it, so be it.”

“Spiritual health, emotional health, and bodily health all contribute to the well-being of the community,” Keyl added.

“[The vaccine] reduces by a lot the chances you will be severely affected by COVID-19,” New Haven Mayor Justin Elicker said.

At a press conference outside the Health Department on Friday, Mayor Elicker and New Haven Health Director Maritza Bond made the case for boosters as the weather gets colder and the holiday season gets underway.

“That means there’s going to be an increase in indoor activity and intermingling with individuals that are not necessarily the immediate household,” Elicker said.

The booster effort comes at the same time as health officials make a push for newly-eligible children aged five to 11 to get the vaccine, and amid a slight uptick in the state’s overall COVID cases.

The decision to get vaccinated is very personal for most, and one faith leaders are often consulted about.

“We have lots of children in our community, lots of kids that are not yet eligible, and we want to protect them as much as possible when we do gather together as a community,” Cadwallader explained.

“Right now, it’s the children that are the most nervous about it so if I can help assist the children in showing confidence and trust in the shot that will help,” Keyl added.

If you want to get your COVID-19 booster shot, you can come to the New Haven Health Department Tuesdays, Thursdays, and Fridays you can walk right in.

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