Waterbury seeing rise in people getting vaccinated amidst Delta variant concerns

New Haven

WATERBURY, Conn. (WTNH) — Waterbury’s new COVID-19 walk-up clinics have been busy lately.

“We’ve seen over a 60 percent increase in our vaccination center traffic,” said Adam Rinko, Waterbury’s Director of Emergency Management.

News 8 saw a small crowd gathering Wednesday at the clinic at 910 Wolcott Street next to Walmart. Doors opened at 2 p.m. Rinko cites concern over the Delta variant for the increase in people seeking shots.

“We’ve gone from what we were seeing about 11 infections a day to a high as of yesterday of 36 per day,” he said.

“I don’t want to have COVID and be sick and almost pass away because I didn’t take a shot because I was scared off of social media and what I heard there,” said Hailey Osterhout-McNeil. “Before I was hesitant on the second one due to the fact I heard things about major side effects (on social media).”

Christian Perez told News 8 he was initially hesitant to get the vaccine, too.

“It’s like having the virus inside you, you know?” Perez said.

That’s what he initially thought. Here’s what he thinks now in light of the Delta variant.

“I think it’s very healthy for us to be aware about the danger that’s outside in Waterbury,” he said.

Earlier this week, Waterbury officials reinstated a mask mandate policy — face masks must be worn inside city government buildings like City Hall, the Chase Municipal Building (which houses the Education Department), and Jefferson Square (which houses the health department).

The city also announced face masks will be worn this new school year in classrooms, school buildings, and on school buses.

Rinko hopes the increase in people turning up to get their vaccination shots will lead to COVID numbers going back down in Waterbury.

The location for the COVID-19 walk-up clinic is 910 Wolcott Street. No appointment is needed.

The hours are as follows:

  • Monday: Noon – 8 p.m.
  • Tuesday: 2 – 8 p.m.
  • Wednesday: Noon – 6 p.m.
  • Thursday: 2 – 8 p.m.
  • Friday: Noon – 8 p.m.
  • Saturday: 9 a.m. – 3 p.m.
  • Sunday: 8 a.m. – Noon

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