Wilton played its part in the effort to provide the COVID-19 vaccine to as many people as possible on Thursday, Jan. 14, when it held the town’s first vaccine clinic at Town Hall.
Thursday’s vaccination clinic was set up at the Wilton Fire Department in the spacious garage bays that usually house the town fire trucks. It was organized in collaboration with Wilton’s health partner, Visiting Nurse and Hospice of Fairfield County.
The clinic was initially scheduled to provide vaccinations to town employees who are essential frontline personnel in Phase 1.a. of the state’s vaccine distribution plan–including Wilton Police Chief John Lynch, who received his first vaccine dose Thursday.
Visiting Nurse’s Karen Ann Simmons administered Lynch’s shot. “I didn’t even feel it and the process was seamless,” the Chief told GOOD Morning Wilton, adding that it was “hopefully the beginning stage toward normalcy.’
Wilton’s clinic was also one of the sites open to the public as part of the Vaccine Administration Management System (VAMS) sign-up.
That meant that people unaffiliated with Wilton in any way but who were classified as Phase 1.a. could register for an appointment at Wilton’s clinic. In addition, with the VAMS registration system now open to allow registrations for some people classified in Phase 1.b.–specifically, residents aged 75-and-above–there were members of the public who were scheduled during the clinic as well.
For privacy reasons, town officials are unable to share, or even known, how many employees versus how many members of the public were vaccinated.
Visiting Nurse staff managed appointment check-in and their nurses administered the vaccine. Town staff helped with logistics such as set up, signage, supplies and break down.
Visiting Nurse had received 100 vaccines and every vaccine was used at Thursday’s clinic. The nurses were able to administer approximately 20 vaccinations per hour.
The clinic was organized by a six-person oversight committee, which included Barry Bogle, Wilton Health Director; Sharon Bradley and Margarita Shapiro of Visiting Nurse & Hospice of Fairfield County; Dave Heiden of the Wilton Health Department; Mike Vincelli, Wilton’s Emergency Preparedness Coordinator, and Sarah Gioffre, the community coordinator in the Office of the First Selectwoman.
Gioffre acknowledged the collaborative effort from of a number of Wilton departments and organizations, including the Department of Public Works, Information Systems, Wilton Fire Department, Wilton Police Department, and Wilton Volunteer Ambulance Corps.
When asked if there would be additional clinics held by the town, Gioffre answered, “Wilton’s current role, like other health districts, continues to be vaccinating essential frontline personnel.”