Vernon vaccine clinic helps vaccinate individuals with disabilities

Tolland

VERNON, Conn. (WTNH) — As concerns about the Delta variant loom, there’s a push to increase vaccination rates across the state. But there remains an issue of accessibility to the shot for some, including those with disabilities.

“It’s a big relief because we haven’t been anywhere in the past year and a half,” said Theresa Reardon of Terryville.

A weight has been lifted from Theresa Reardon’s shoulders. She was finally able to get her son, Connor, vaccinated. On Wednesday, they drove from Terryville to Vernon to take part in a clinic focused on vaccinating individuals with disabilities.

“Two weeks non-stop calling people, just trying to find a place that was willing to help vaccinate him, to help restrain him because he will fight you,” Reardon explained.

Connor, who lives with autism, will be back in a few weeks to get his second dose.

“I’ll be ecstatic to know that he is vaccinated,” said Reardon.

Each person was allotted an hour of time to get their shot and accommodations were made to make sure they were comfortable. Inside the Vernon Senior Center, the lighting was dimmer, there were fewer people, and there were limited distractions. 

“We make this room very welcoming, warm, and not overwhelming,” said Amy Watt, who leads the town’s Vaccination Clinic Team. 

Amy Watt, who leads the town’s Vaccination Clinic Team, said they communicated with the Department of Developmental Services (DDS) and planned with each family in advance.

“We do a lot of talking back and forth of accommodations, what their need is, what their disability is, whether they can either come to the clinic or need to stay home,” said Watt.

Their hope with this clinic was to break down barriers to the vaccine and to do all they can in the fight against the virus.

“When we see them get vaccinated, it’s like a hooray!” said Watt. “Because everyone is relieved.” 

There are services in place to help families and individuals with disabilities. Click this link to get more information.

Copyright 2021 Nexstar Media Inc. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.

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