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Bringing vaccination, and education, door-to-door in Hartford

Health workers and medical professionals canvassed the Northeast and Barry Square neighborhoods Saturday morning.

HARTFORD, Conn. — As the delta variant of COVID-19 continues to spread, Hartford is broadening its push to get more people vaccinated. Local health workers and medical professionals spent Saturday going door-to-door in two Hartford neighborhoods in an effort to answer any questions, and bring the vaccine directly to the people.

Every visit to a house or business, or car, was a new opportunity to get another person vaccinated. 

Mayor Luke Bronin said "We will have teams going out door-to-door, bringing the shots, bringing this vaccine to anybody who wants it directly in the comfort of their own home."

Those teams found some luck as they administered the vaccine to the driver of a car to the Northeast and Barry Square neighborhoods Saturday morning. They approached anyone who would hear their pitch, and addressed any questions or concerns about the vaccines.

Hector Glynn, Chief Operating Officer of The Village for Families & Children, one of several local groups taking part in the canvass, said it's important to continue reaching out to underserved communities. "There is a long history of not being able to connect with medical or getting the best care and when you're facing that and someone says put a shot in your arm, you need to think about it. You need to be able to talk with someone like you who's credible."

"This is all about meeting people where they're at and ensuring that we bringing information to them," said Paula Gilberto,  President of the United Way of Central and Northeastern Connecticut. "We're connecting them with services."

The initiative is supported in part by the state Department of Public Health's Vaccine Equity Partnership.

"With federal dollars, the Connecticut Department of Public Health was able to make grants to our local health departments," said Acting DPH Commissioner Dr. Deidre Gifford. "Cities like Hartford received about 1.5 million dollars which they in turn have been distributing to grassroots community organizations that 

The helping hands on the ground also include people from UConn Health, Trinity Health Of New England, Connecticut Children's Medical Center, The Village for Families & Children, and other community-based organizations.

State data shows about 50 percent of the city's population has gotten at least one dose of the vaccine.

Mayor Bronin says this door-to-door effort will continue at least over the next two weekends and they will extend it as long as it feels like it's working and effective."

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