Vaccinating Connecticut’s teachers continues through the weekend


(WTNH) — The effort to vaccinate Connecticut’s teachers and school staff continues this weekend. All is being done to get our schools safely back open.

The Hamden public schools system has just wrapped up a vaccination clinic Saturday for its teachers and school workers.

“We’re working with Cornell Scott Hill Healthcare Center to offer a closed clinic for Hamden Public School employees,” said Gary Highsmith, of Hamden Public Schools. “We also opened it up to daycare/childcare providers in the town of Hamden.”

RELATED: Three-day mass COVID vaccine clinic for educators at Xfinity Theater in Hartford underway

They had 400 appointments scheduled and 400 doses of the new Johnson & Johnson vaccine.

Hartford Public Schools partnered with St. Francis Hospital to vaccinate 1,500 educators and staff this week. Waterbury Public Schools held the first mass clinic in Connecticut solely for educators. They administered 500 doses each day throughout the week at a clinic they incorporated into a larger one for the city that was already operating thanks to Trinity Health of New England.

“I think we made significant strides early on with vaccinations getting done and we continually seem to be leading the way throughout the state with our model,” said Adam Rinko, Waterbury’s Director of Emergency Management.

Over the past week, we’ve seen many other school districts ramp up their efforts as more shots have been made available. The executive director of the Connecticut Education Association (CEA) says enabling school districts to give out these shots to teachers addresses their number one concern of protection from COVID in the classroom.

Donald Williams is pleased with how this is being handled so far.

“We’re seeing a sense of relief,” he said. “The vaccination process is moving pretty quickly throughout the state. A number of schools are already finished with vaccinating all teachers and all school staff.”

When we asked if he had heard from teachers about issues with getting the vaccine, he told News 8, “There’s going to be glitches in this town or that district, but so far, it’s been pretty well organized and the supply of vaccines has been stable and good. We haven’t heard of any major snafus.”

Our new U.S. Secretary of Education, Miguel Cardona from Meriden, wrote a tweet Saturday about federal resources in Washington and how they can help our schools reopen safely.

A lot of that, of course, depends on the supply of the vaccine down to states and local school districts.

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