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Hartford Healthcare expands its vaccine team to reach emergency department patients

At the Hospital of Central Connecticut, Hartford Healthcare CEO Jeff Flaks announced a new way to get even more people vaccinated.

NEW BRITAIN, Conn. — The frontline workers at Hartford Healthcare had much to appreciate on Thursday as they passed a milestone -300,000 COVID-19 vaccines administered since December. 

At the Hospital of Central Connecticut, Hartford Healthcare CEO Jeff Flaks announced a new way to get even more people vaccinated.

Now patients who are cleared to leave the emergency department will have the opportunity to get a COVID-19 shot. 

“Patients in our emergency department are often can be people who aren’t connected to the health system so this is an opportunity for them to get vaccinated,” Flaks said. He then added, “we are doing everything possible to ensure people cannot and will not fall through the cracks.”

Hartford Healthcare’s new pilot program will be at emergency departments at nine of their hospitals across the state, adding about two thousand new shots for those who need it. 

The vaccine of choice for emergency room patients who qualify will be the Johnson & Johnson dose due to its one shot nature. Dr. James Cardon, a Hartford Healthcare cardiologist said, “We certainly will welcome more (than 2,000 new doses a week) and if it’s more we will be pleasantly surprised.” 

Erica Paz, a registered nurse in the emergency department at the Hospital of Central Connecticut said, “I am beyond thrilled that our little ER, small but mighty, is offering this to patients.” Flaks added, “today is about hope, it’s about promise, it’s about a sense of optimism.”

   

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