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Hartford Healthcare prepares vaccine clinics for Phase 1B

To prepare, officials say the two main components are vaccine availability and staffing.

HARTFORD, Conn — People who are 75 and older can now begin to make appointments to get vaccinated. Hartford Healthcare has already started to vaccinate some people in that age group.

"This week we had some open clinic spots so the DPH gave us the OK if we had open capacity at any of our clinics, individuals over the age of 75 were free to register," said Eric Arlia, director of Systems Pharmacy at Hartford Healthcare.

It gave the hospital system a chance to get started on Phase 1B and see what works and what doesn't before more people start signing up.

"I'd characterize it as almost a soft launch because we're gearing up to be able to take care of more people and more quickly across the state," said Jeff Flaks, president, and CEO of Hartford Healthcare.

To prepare, officials say the two main components are vaccine availability and staffing.

"It's not just a matter of having the vaccine at the site, it's making sure that it can be used within the time that it's good out of the freezer," said Arlia. "We're getting tremendous outpouring from our own staff somebody told me this morning more than 200 healthcare employees who can be vaccinators have volunteered," he said.

If you do fall into the group that is eligible to get vaccinated, you can make an appointment here. You will have to either sign in to your MyChartPlus account or sign up for one. From there, you will be able to schedule your appointment. You can also call this hotline with any questions, (860) 972-4993.

At the clinic, you receive the vaccine, sit for 15 minutes, and then return when it is time for your second dose.

"We got the Moderna which means in 4 weeks from now we'll be back. Absolutely," said Bill Shatas of Meriden.

"Obviously we want to be able to stay healthy, stay safe, and we want to be able to get out and enjoy life again at some point in time," said Linda Shatas of Meriden.

People ages 75 and older will be part of Phase 1B but a subcommittee of the state's vaccine advisory did recommend people ages 65 and older as well as adults with CDC-listed co-morbidities, so the hospital system is preparing for that possibility as well.

"We're looking at doubling the size of our operation. Expanding the hours, expanding the number of bays we have," said Flaks.

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