NEW HAVEN, Conn. — The first case of the omicron variant of COVID-19 was confirmed in Connecticut over the weekend. Now, state and health leaders are pushing for more people to get their booster shots.
The state is hosting several pop-up vaccination clinics in well-traveled areas, where no appointment or insurance is needed.
On Mondays, Tuesdays and Wednesdays, Griffin Health is taking over the second floor at Union Station in New Haven to do just that. Many people stopped by on Monday.
“This is just readily available to me as I drive through this area almost every day," said John Cropp, who lives in Madison.
Accessibility and equality are their main focuses in the Elm City.
"We are hoping to capture anybody and everybody and make it easy," said Dr. Manisha Juthani, Connecticut Public Health Commissioner.
The first case of the omicron variant was detected in a man in his 60s from Hartford County, who is fully vaccinated but tested positive last week after starting to show mild symptoms.
Health officials have traced the case back to a family member who recently traveled to New York City for an anime convention where other cases of the variant were detected. The family member is also fully vaccinated and showing minor symptoms.
Now, public health leaders are pushing for anyone over the age of 18 to get boosted to build on their immunity.
"When you get your booster, you start going back up right away every day after that booster, you are that much more protected," Juthani said.
Juthani admitted there’s still a lot to learn about the omicron variant. She said, right now, most cases in Connecticut are still tied to the delta variant. In those cases, the vaccines do provide protection.
"We can’t always prevent mild illness. But you gotta know…that the boosters and the vaccines are keeping you out of the hospital and are keeping you out of the morgue," said Gov. Ned Lamont.
"Those people who have been on the front lines for 19 months need your help. because frankly, there isn’t the capacity to handle what could come," said Patrick Charmel, Griffin Health CEO and President.
For a list of vaccine clinics across Connecticut, click here.
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