Westport First Selectman Issues Update on COVID-19 Vaccinations

Important Information from the Westport Weston Health District (WWHD)

The COVID-19 vaccination clinic originally scheduled for yesterday, February 18, has been rescheduled to Monday, February 22 due to yesterday’s inclement weather. Only the clinic date has changed. The appointment time and location for Monday’s clinic remain the same – Westport Senior Center (21 Imperial Ave, Westport, CT 06880). All those affected have been directly contacted by WWHD staff. 

First Selectman Jim Marpe today issued the following update on the COVID Vaccine:

This week, Governor Ned Lamont announced that over 500,000 Connecticut residents received their first vaccination and over 240,000 have received the second vaccination for a total of 747,000 vaccinations.  Connecticut ranks third in the nation for vaccine administration.  Since Connecticut vaccinated its nursing homes, resident cases have decreased from a high of 483 in the first week of January to 30 this week, proving the effectiveness of the vaccine. 

While this trend is encouraging, it does not mean that anyone, even those who have been vaccinated, should discontinue adherence to CDC guidelines regarding use of adequate face coverings, social distancing, and proper handwashing.  Due to the virility of new COVID variants, it is recommended that two masks be worn – a disposal/surgical mask worn UNDER a cloth mask to insure increased protection.

Further, Superintendent of Schools Tom Scarice reminded the community last week of Governor Lamont's Executive Order 9S regarding travel. (click here). That EO states that students and staff returning from travel to anywhere other than New Jersey, New York or Rhode Island, where they have stayed longer than 24 hours, are required by law to follow strict protocols upon return.

Also, it is important to remember that smaller social gatherings with family and friends have an equal, if not greater potential, for transmission of COVID-19 if mask wearing and other critical mitigation measures are not followed.

Important Vaccine Information:

Connecticut remains in the second part of Phase 1b of the vaccine administration, which means that residents over the age of 65 are eligible to schedule COVID-19 vaccination appointments. Vaccinations for individuals over the age of 75 and those within Phase 1a continue.

To manage the increased volumes, the State has enhanced phone line capacity and the ability to assist with vaccine scheduling. Vaccination appointments are being made within five minutes or less and appointments for both the first and second vaccine can now be made simultaneously.

 Eligible residents are encouraged to make vaccine appointments at any available clinic, and not wait for availability specifically in Westport. Those 75+ may have ambulatory or technological barriers to booking out of town, so it is strongly suggested that those eligible 65+ in the next phase consider booking appointments wherever available.   

 To view a statewide list and map of COVID-19 vaccine clinics, go to www.211ct.org/vaccineclinics, enter your zip code or town in the location box on the right and press the yellow search icon. 

 The State of Connecticut is managing the vaccine rollout and its prioritization. Connecticut is currently in Phase 1b of the vaccine distribution.  

Individuals included in Phase 1a:

  • Healthcare Personnel
  • Long Term Care Facility Residents
  • Medical First Responders

 Individuals included in Phase 1b:

  • Scheduling now:  Individuals 75 and older
  • Scheduling now:  Individuals between the ages of 65 and 74
  • Scheduling information coming soon: Frontline essential workers and individuals with underlying medical conditions with increased risk for severe illness

 There are several ways to register and schedule an appointment for the vaccine. 

Online using the Vaccination Administration Management System (VAMS).  This is an online scheduling portal that allows individuals with an email address to create an account, log-in, and search for a vaccine clinic near them. An email address is required to schedule an appointment. By using VAMS you will be able to search for appointments at several locations throughout Connecticut after entering your zip code.   

 Visit VAMS online: here.

 Some of the larger third party VAMS clinics include:

  •  UConn Health: https://health.uconn.edu/coronavirus/covid-vaccine/ Appointments available online or phone (860) 679-5589
  •  Griffin Health Care Center (Shelton & Derby)  Book appointment at VAMS site or call (203) 433-3394 or (203)204-1053 or (203) 732-7101 M-F from 7:00 am - 4:00 pm or click here.
  •  Drive-Thru Clinic in Fairfield County through VAMS scheduling: Community Health Center, at Lord & Taylor parking lot at 110 High Ridge Road in Stamford. To register, those eligible can call 211, or 877-918-2224. Or use the VAMS online portal operated by the state Department of Health to make an appointment online.
  •  Southwest Community Health Center through VAMS scheduling: 1020 Fairfield Ave. in Bridgeport, taking appointments on Tuesdays and Thursdays.

  •  Some providers are offering direct scheduling on their websites or over the phone*:

 Stamford Hospital: https://www.stamfordhealth.org/covid-19-update/covid-19-vaccination-information/  (203) 276-7300

 Yale New Haven Health:   https://www.ynhhs.org/patient-care/covid-19/vaccine/get-your-covid-vaccine.aspx  (833) 275-9644

Hartford HealthCare: https://hartfordhealthcare.org/health-wellness/covid-vaccine (860) 827-7690

 VAMS clinics by phone: Connecticut’s COVID Vaccine Appointment Assistance Line is (877) 918-2224 or 2-1-1 and is available every day from 8:00 a.m. – 8:00 p.m. Additional trained contact specialists are answering calls and have expanded capability of booking vaccine appointments through the VAMS portal. If delays occur, a call-back option may be offered when contact specialists are busy assisting other callers. Please note, this state phone line is experiencing very heavy call volume.

 The following drive-thru options are available through VAMS:

  •  The Community Health Center, at Lord & Taylor parking lot 110 High Ridge Road, Stamford.
  •  Pratt & Whitney Drive-through, Runway Road, East Hartford. 

 For tips or a video tutorial on how to use VAMS, use the following links:

  1. https://portal.ct.gov/Coronavirus/COVID-19-Vaccinations---VAMS-Support
  2. https://www.youtube.com/watch?app=desktop&v=AJy6mA6Nmm0&feature=youtu.be

 For the most up-to-date information from the State of Connecticut on the vaccine roll out, residents are encouraged to visit https://portal.ct.gov/Coronavirus/COVID-19-Vaccinations. As nearby pharmacies, travel clinics or other sites begin to participate in vaccine administration, that information will be available at www.WWHD.org

Westport residents who require additional assistance after trying the state hotline, can call 203-341-5037 to speak with a Human Services staff member for help. For more tips and information on local vaccinations, please go to www.westportct.gov/vaccine.