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NDDH Conducting COVID-19 Vaccination Clinics

Health Department Urges Employers to Register Eligible Employees for Vaccination

(BROOKLYN) – The Northeast District Department of Health (NDDH), which provides public health services for 12 northeast Connecticut towns, has received a supply of Moderna COVID-19 vaccine and is actively vaccinating healthcare workers and emergency responders who meet the current eligibility criteria for vaccination.

In order to be vaccinated by NDDH, eligible individuals must be registered in the Vaccine Administration and Management System (VAMS). This is an easy-to-use, secure, online tool developed by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) to manage vaccine administration.

“In this phase, vaccination eligibility is based on your occupation, so employers play a key role in the process by submitting lists of employees who are eligible for vaccination to the VAMS system,” explained Sue Starkey, NDDH Director of Health. “NDDH has been hosting educational forums to teach employers how to use the system and how to prioritize their employees according to official State guidance as well as providing information about vaccine safety.”

NDDH has provided VAMS trainings to town leaders, school superintendents, fire, police, and emergency medical services, as well as unaffiliated and independent medical providers in the district such as dentists and private practices. Trainings are on-going.

“For now, if you are a business or volunteer organization that employs healthcare workers or emergency medical services (EMS) personnel, you’ll register in VAMS and upload rosters of employees as they become eligible to receive vaccination,” said Linda Colangelo, NDDH Education and Communications Coordinator. “VAMS will then invite those employees to set up an account and schedule an appointment to be vaccinated. People can search VAMS for participating clinics and book appointments anywhere slots are available. The system will also send automatic reminders to book your first and second appointment. It is important that the second dose is the same type of vaccine as the first dose.”

Starkey noted that vaccination appointments are made through VAMS and not by calling the NDDH office. It is anticipated that the vaccination of Phase 1a eligible employees – healthcare workers, which includes EMS personnel, will continue through January 2021.

“We are facilitating discussions among employers so they can determine how to prioritize employees based on job responsibilities,” commented Starkey. “We are using guidance from the CDC and the Governor’s COVID-19 Vaccine Advisory Group, whose recommendations have been endorsed by the State of Connecticut. As vaccine availability increases, more people will become eligible and it is expected that vaccine will be available in many more settings such as retail and supermarket pharmacies, urgent care centers, and doctor’s offices.”

NDDH reminds residents to remain patient while waiting to be eligible for vaccination and to continue to wear your mask, watch your distance, wash your hands, and stay home when you are sick.

Business and organizations who employ eligible employees in this phase who would like to learn more about NDDH VAMS Trainings may contact Linda Colangelo at lcolangelo@nddh.org.

Additional information
For the Public: https://portal.ct.gov/Coronavirus/COVID-19-Vaccinations
For Employers: https://portal.ct.gov/Coronavirus/COVID-19-Vaccinations---Employers
For Vaccine Providers: https://portal.ct.gov/DPH/Immunizations/COVID-19-Vaccine-Providers
VAMS: https://www.cdc.gov/vaccines/covid-19/reporting/vams/index.html

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