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New Haven Health Department making strides on COVID vaccine front

Bridging communities by distinguishing fact from fiction regarding the COVID vaccines available.

The New Haven Health Department has vaccinated nearly 16,000 New Haven residents and workers against COVID-19. But they're trying to find new ways every day to reach its residents.

And on Tuesday, the city literally made some more strides.

Led by Health Director Maritza Bond, medical professionals took their COVID vaccine message on the road. Actually, it was the Farmington Canal walking trail.

"Really this week we are celebrating national public health week, which the theme this year is bridging communities together for better health," Bod said.

Bridging communities by distinguishing fact from fiction regarding the COVID vaccines available. One of the concerns health officials want to address was how quickly the vaccines received emergency use authorization.

"We spent a lot of time developing materials on how coronavirus really in general is not a new virus," Bond said. "It was the type of strain and we were very fortunate that a lot of researchers were already trying to identify a coronavirus vaccine in general."

And the city's efforts appear to be working.

"Thus far we have vaccinated over 15,000 individuals already," Bond said fo the New Haven Health Department's efforts.

In the coming months, 12 to 15-year-old children will be eligible for the vaccine. Pfizer announced recently a 100% vaccine efficacy in their trials of that age group.

"It’s really critical to get that herd immunity that we are trying to achieve so that we can get back to some sense of post-COVID normalcy," said Dr. Tamiko Jackson-McArthur, a pediatrician, who is also a member of the New Haven Board of Education.

But there are still roadblocks.

"We have issues with trying to get access to an appointment getting a human being on the phone or you have individuals that still have questions about the vaccine," Bond said.

Last Saturday the city went door to door in the Hill neighborhood helping folks set up vaccine appointments.

"We’re now going to go to Newhallville next and around different communities like," said Bond.

Thursday and Friday, on the New Haven Green, in partnership with Griffin Hospital, a combined 1,200 people are expected to receive the single dose Johnson & Johnson vaccine.

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