Notice - NDDH Pauses Use of Johnson & Johnson Vaccine
Please see the statement from the CT Department of Public Health (DPH) regarding a pause in the use of J & J vaccine. Based on this guidance, the Northeast District Department of Health has cancelled a Johnson & Johnson COVID-19 vaccination clinic scheduled for Wednesday, April 14th and will reschedule it for the same day using Moderna vaccine instead. We have notified anyone who scheduled an appointment at this clinic through VAMS and are providing opportunities for them to reschedule their appointments. NDDH will suspend use of the J & J vaccine until further notice.
COVID-19 Vaccination Information
- About the Vaccines
- Who is Eligible?
- Where to Get COVID-19 Vaccine
- How to Schedule in VAMS
- Step-by-Step Guides to Vaccine Options
- Volunteer with the Medical Reserve Corps
Vaccine Eligibility in CT:
Beginning April 1st - open to all previous phases and ages 16+
Pfizer vaccine is authorized for 16+
Moderna and Johnson & Johnson vaccines are authorized for 18+
The Northeast District Department of Health and Day Kimball Healthcare are collaborating to vaccinate school personnel and licensed childcare providers in 41 schools throughout 12 districts. First dose clinics were completed by March 12th. Second dose clinics are being scheduled through late March/early April.
Wait your turn. Take your turn. That's how we'll turn the page on COVID-19.
- Vaccine supply is expanding in Connecticut. While appointments may be hard to find at the beginning of a new eligibility phase, they eventually open up, so check back often.
- Many NE CT agencies are standing up support systems to assist older adults and others needing help to register for vaccination.
- In time, all those who wish to be vaccinated will have the opportunity.
- We appreciate your patience and support of COVID-19 vaccination.
About the COVID-19 Vaccines & Vaccination
Currently, three vaccines are authorized and recommended to prevent COVID-19:
- Pfizer-BioNTech COVID-19 Vaccine - For ages 16 and older. 2 doses required at least 21 days apart. Read the fact sheet.
- Moderna’s COVID-19 Vaccine - For ages 18 and older. 2 doses required at least 28 days apart. Read the fact sheet.
- Johnson & Johnson Janssen COVID-19 Vaccine - For ages 18 and older. 1 dose only. Read the fact sheet.
Note - Your first and second dose of vaccine must be by the same manufacturer. Be sure to double-check which dose vaccine providers have before scheduling your second appointment.
- Masks are required and all persons are screened upon entry at vaccination sites
- Bring a form of photo identification to your appointment
- Wear a short-sleeve shirt under your clothing for ease of vaccination
- Anyone receiving a COVID-19 vaccine will be monitored for at least 15 minutes
CT DPH Fact Sheets:
COVID-19 vaccination in Connecticut has been done in PHASES. Phases were then broken down into waves in order to prioritize those at highest risk for exposure or complications that could result in hospitalization or death from COVID-19. Connecticut's population is 3.5 million people, so it will take some time to vaccinate those eligible and seeking vaccine.
- Beginning April 1, all individuals 16 years of age and older who live, work, or attend school in Connecticut are eligible to receive vaccine. Students attending school remotely and employees working remotely who reside outside of Connecticut should receive vaccine in their home states.
- Individuals whose primary medical provider is located in the State of Connecticut but do not live or work in CT should not be vaccinated in CT. Such individuals should receive vaccine from their State of residence when they are eligible in their home state.
Those eligible now for vaccination include:
• Individuals age 16+
• Educators and Childcare Providers
Medical First Responders such as EMTs, Police and Fire
Residents and staff of long term health care facilities
Individuals 45 years and older (see chart below to understand why older adults are prioritized)
Residents and staff of select congregate settings
Homebound - Individuals who are medically or physically unable to leave their home to receive a COVID-19 vaccine can register for in-home vaccination.
All sites are vaccinating PHASE-eligible individuals by appointment only.
No walk-ins accepted.
Vaccine providers use different scheduling systems to book appointments, including the Vaccine Administration Management System (VAMS).
See the next section below to learn how to schedule using VAMS.
Northeast District Department of Health (NDDH) - MODERNA Vaccine - VAMS
- Vaccination site: Quinebaug Valley Senior Citizens Center, 69 South Main Street, Brooklyn
- Weather permitting, first-dose clinics are currently held Tuesdays and Wednesdays. Second-dose clinics are typically held Thursdays and Fridays
- Due to limited vaccine supply, clinics are posted on a weekly basis and online slots fill up quickly. Clinics are typically posted in VAMS on Friday afternoons for the following week or Mondays for the same week. Don't panic if you don't get a spot...others will be available each week.
- Second dose appointments are booked before you leave your first dose appointment
Generations Family Health Center - MODERNA Vaccine - VAMS
- Prioritizing eligible Generations patients first. Patients may call for more information.
- Eligible non-patients must be enrolled in VAMS.
- Clinic locations:
- 42 Reynolds Street, Danielson (860-774-7501)
- 202 Pomfret Street, Putnam (860-963-7917)
- 330 Washington Street, Suite 510, Norwich (860-885-1308)
- 40 Mansfield Avenue, Willimantic (860-450-7471)
Day Kimball Healthcare - MODERNA, PFIZER, JOHNSON & JOHNSON Vaccine - VAMS
- Vaccination clinics at Day Kimball Hospital, 320 Pomfret Street, Putnam are restricted to individuals with an appointment booked to receive their second dose of the vaccine after having received their first dose already at Day Kimball Hospital. Patients must bring their vaccination record card to their appointment.
- Individuals who have an appointment booked and have been instructed by their physician to receive the vaccine at Day Kimball Hospital will be accommodated. No walk-in appointments are available.
- Day Kimball Medical Group (DKMG) is contacting eligible patients who are 55 and older to schedule their vaccine appointments for both their first and second doses. Vaccinations will take place by appointment only at the Day Kimball Healthcare Center, 12 Lathrop Road, Plainfield.
By appointment only through their individual scheduling systems:
Walgreens - Check for types of vaccine - You must have or create an account at Walgreens.com
Northeast CT Walgreens locations:
203 Kennedy Drive, Putnam - Moderna and Pfizer
1093 North Main Street, Dayville
20 Prospect Street, Moosup
200 Westminster Road, Canterbury - Moderna
CVS Pharmacy, 57 Providence Pike, Putnam - PFIZER Vaccine - Click here for scheduling information.
- This system has an online option for eligible individuals to register that only requires a cell phone number. Email is optional.
- Register by phone: 1-800-746-7287 (1-880-SHOP-CVS)
Schedule directly through a participating vaccine provider - Various locations throughout the state run by Hartford Healthcare, UCONN Health and Yale New Haven Health. All locations require pre-scheduling and registration – no walk-ins allowed.
What about my doctor's office? Please do not call your medical provider looking for vaccine. Local physicians do not yet have doses. They will reach out to patients when they do.
2-1-1 Online Directory of COVID-19 Vaccine Clinics - Searchable database of hundreds of vaccination clinics and testing sites located throughout Connecticut. Apply filters to search for clinics that schedule through VAMS or take appointments by phone or through the state's Vaccine Appointment Access Line (VAAL).
VAMS - How to Schedule an Online Appointment Using the Vaccine Administration Management System - For Eligible Individuals
To expedite your vaccination:
VAMS is an online scheduling tool that allows people with an email address to create an account, log-in, and search for a COVID-19 vaccine clinic near them.
While VAMS has been successful for employers and healthcare workers in Phase 1a, it can be challenging for some older adults and others who may have limited experience with computers.
Calling all family, friends, neighbors, and community advocates! Reach out to help someone who may need assistance in scheduling an appointment online with VAMS. Here's a step-by-step:
- VAMS requires you to have an email address. If you don’t already have one, sign up to get a Gmail account through Google: https://accounts.google.com/signup
- Complete an online enrollment application for Eligible Individuals that goes to the CT Department of Health, who sends it along to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC).
- Monitor your email for an invitation from the CDC to sign up for an VAMS account. The email will come from email@example.com. It can take up to 12 hours or longer to receive the email invite.
- Complete your VAMS registration. Here are additional instructional resources:
- Once you have VAMS account, you can search for clinics in Connecticut, including ones being held locally at NDDH, Generations Family Health Center, and Day Kimball Healthcare.
Step-by-Step Guides to Vaccine
NDDH has been training community agencies who are helping older adults and others needing assistance in accessing different vaccine registration options. Below are the Step-by-Step Guides used in our trainings, current as of 2/16/21. Don't be intimidated by the length of the documents...they are very helpful!
Here's an easy-to-use website for instructions on using the online VAMS system. The site was developed by Volunteer Students of ECSU - Eastern Connecticut State University's Business Information Systems (BIS) Program's BIS-AITP Student Chapter in conjunction with NDDH. We encourage friends and family to use these streamlined instructions to help those you care about make their vaccination appointments. Visit the site here.
VAMS for Employers
Due to significant challenges in trying to prioritize essential workers for vaccination, the state adopted age-based eligibility instead, with a few notable exceptions. Currently, school personnel and licensed childcare providers are eligible for vaccination regardless of age. Note - NDDH and Day Kimball Healthcare are scheduling second dose on-site clinics at schools throughout the district from late March to early April. This is by far the most convenient and stress-free option for school personnel and licensed childcare providers.
Any employees age 16+ who live or work in Connecticut may enroll directly in VAMS as eligible individuals by starting at this DPH website.
Employees working remotely who reside outside of Connecticut should receive vaccine in their home states.
How to Schedule an Appointment by Phone
For eligible individuals who do not have the ability to schedule an appointment online:
Call the CT COVID Vaccine Appointment Access Line (VAAL)
Seven days a week from 8:00 a.m. to 8:00 p.m.
Up for a drive? This system does not currently schedule appointments at clinics in northeast CT, but offers appointments at large clinic sites such as Pratt & Whitney/Rentschler Field in East Hartford.
Call-back option offered when all contact specialists are busy serving other callers. May take 24 hours or longer for a call-back. This line experiences very heavy call volume. Click on the maps below for site locations.
Patience is a Vaccine Virtue
Are we there yet? Some are. Some are on their way. We will all get there. These priority phases are necessary while vaccine is in short supply. The good news is that vaccine supply will increase and you will eventually be able to get your shot in all the familiar places - at a doctor’s office, urgent care center, and retail and supermarket pharmacies. These additional places will announce when they have vaccine, so please do not call looking for information now.
There's Science in the Vaccine...and Math in the Vax Planning
Vaccinating billions of people around the world is a monstrous effort...so is vaccinating the 85,000 people in the NDDH service district. Here's how we do it:
- First, we wait to see how many doses of vaccine will be allocated to us each week.
- Then we determine how many vaccinators, clinic staff and volunteers are available for the clinic.
- Then we determine how many vaccination stations or lanes we will operate. We multiply that by the amount of people we can vaccinate in one hour and multiply that by how many hours the clinic will run. That tells us how many people we can schedule for one clinic. We plan in groups of 10 because there are 10 doses in one vial of Moderna vaccine.
- We multiply the number of scheduled recipients by how many clinics we run per week in order to match the amount of doses we received. Every effort must be made to use all the doses allocated to us in one week.
So as an example, if we get 300 doses of vaccine, we can schedule a clinic that has 3 stations, which can vaccinate 10 people per hour multiplied by a 5-hour clinic...so we can vaccinate 150 people (3 x 10 x 5 = 150). If we do that twice in a week, we've vaccinated 300 people...which matches our dose allocation. We use the same formula for our second dose clinics. Then Mother Nature throws a storm at us and we have to scramble to reschedule for another day.
Good to the last drop...and we mean the very last drop.
You may have heard about "extra doses" of vaccine being available at the end of a clinic. What's that about?
There are 10 doses of vaccine in one glass vial of Moderna vaccine and five doses in a vial of Pfizer vaccine. The vaccine does not contain preservative, so a vial must be dispensed within six hours of being opened. Here's where the math comes in again. Sometimes you can get an extra dose out of a vial, so that means you have an extra dose to give to someone. Sometimes people cancel at the last minute or are no-shows...so if we planned to vaccinate 10 people to finish a vial, now there might be anywhere from 1 to 9 doses left to give. In this case, we try to keep a list of phase-eligible people already registered in VAMS who might be able to get to the clinic quickly so we can finish the vial. Remember that clinic staff have been there all day...so we can't make them stay for extra hours waiting for someone to show up. Sometimes we call people who have appointments for the next day and ask them if they want to come in a day early. We make every best attempt to vaccinate eligible individuals and not waste a precious dose of vaccine.
In the end, it all adds up to doing our best to protect you.
Protect Yourself. Protect Others...and We'll Get Through This Together
Until you can be vaccinated and, yes, even after you’ve been vaccinated, please continue to follow all of the recommended strategies to reduce your risk of getting COVID-19:
- Wear your mask
- Watch your distance
- Wash your hands
- Clean and disinfect
- Avoid gatherings
- Stay home when you are sick.
- Those 65+, stay safe by staying home
Be Part of This Historic Effort - Volunteer!
To date, NDDH has vaccinated thousands of people! We thank the NDDH staff, COVAX Team, Quinebaug Valley Senior Citizens Center, Bousquet's Appliances, community partners, and our remarkable, resilient Medical Reserve Corps volunteers for their invaluable contributions in these unprecedented times.
Join the Northeast District MRC in order to volunteer at our NDDH COVID-19 vaccination clinics and other associated efforts. Here’s how:
- The State of CT now coordinates the enrollment of volunteers through an online registration process with CT Responds at https://ctresponds.ct.gov/.
- Set up an account and answer a number of questions. It’s not complicated, but lengthy, so be prepared for questions about identity; deployment preferences; contact info; current and former occupations; trainings; skills and certifications; medical history; permission for a background check; and settings to list your account as active or inactive. We ask that you complete AT LEAST 95% of your profile to be considered for an active volunteer role. A tracking bar will measure the completeness of your application and prompt you to complete additional sections.
- Your completed application will be forwarded to our NE CT MRC Unit Coordinator. You will receive a message with a link to take a brief orientation and quiz.
- Upon completion, NDDH will contact you to schedule a time to swear you in with the Loyalty Oath. This can take place via teleconference or may be done when you report for duty at a volunteer site.
For those interested in serving as COVID-19 Vaccinators:
The CT Department of Public Health (DPH) Commissioner's Order dated December 7, 2020, provides for certain licensed healthcare providers to be among a group that is eligible for training and temporary authorization to administer COVID-19 vaccines as part of Connecticut’s mass vaccination efforts during the pandemic. Participation as a COVID-19 vaccinator in volunteer or paid opportunities in this initiative will require successful completion of a DPH-approved training.
More information can be found at: https://portal.ct.gov/DPH/Practitioner-Licensing--Investigations/PLIS/Approved-COVID-19-Vaccination-Training-Programs
We all remember the days when volunteering meant that you just showed up and filled a necessary role. Unfortunately, this is no longer the case. Volunteerism must be well-coordinated and managed in order to afford liability protection to volunteers and provide a safe environment for all…while achieving our common goals.
We hope this information sets you upon the path to contribute your time and talent to our efforts.
Vaccinate with Confidence
Please be sure to visit the sites below often for the most accurate, up-to-date information.
Resources for Health Care Providers