Yale working to ramp up COVID vaccinations; seeks more available doses from feds

Coronavirus

NEW HAVEN, Conn. (WTNH) — Yale is busy ramping up COVID-19 vaccination sites this week as the hospital fills dangerously near capacity for adult services. There is some concern about getting enough vaccine to make a dent in the population here.

RELATED: Yale New Haven Health announces COVID vaccination sites, opening dates

Pressure is extremely high on healthcare workers right now because hospitals are filling up.

Yale announced several new drive-thru vaccination sites Wednesday as they start really scaling up. But they’re only getting about 5,000 doses a week. They would like ten times that.

Chief Medical Officer at Yale New Haven Health Dr. Thomas Balcezak explained, “While we have about half the number of COVID patients that we had at our peak in April, our hospitals are all extremely busy because we are still playing catch-up from all the care that was delayed in the spring.”

Yale says 65-75% of staff are now vaccinated against COVID, something they are working hard on. They’ve also started vaccinating those over 75-years-old.

RELATED: Those 65-74 will be able to start scheduling COVID-19 vaccine appointments likely in early February

Starting Friday, large drive-thru sites will go up in many areas in and around New Haven. When people sign up they will see the options.

Forty to sixty thousand vaccinations per week is Yale’s goal. They are ready to scale up, but need more doses.

“While we are ready to do this and others are ready to do this, we simply cannot do it if we don’t have the doses of vaccine,” Dr. Balcezak explained. “I’m appreciative of what the governor and his administration, the DPH has done. I certainly hope that we can see more doses in the future.”

Dr. Balcezak says they are using every dose as soon as they receive them, but he doesn’t know what the future holds to get more doses.

“We were on a conference call with the Department of Public Health this morning and that’s not just a problem for us, it’s a problem for the Department of Public Health and the governor’s office. They are getting no certainty about the number of doses they are receiving per week.”

Remember, you have to have an appointment to get vaccinated. For more info: http://ct.gov/covidvaccine

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