HARTFORD, CT (WFSB) – A third walk-up clinic for a COVID-19 vaccine is planned in Hartford on Wednesday as health officials consider what a potential shot shortage would mean for statewide vaccination efforts.
Hartford residents can show up to the new clinic at the Free Center on New Britain Avenue from 2 p.m. to 6:30 p.m. without an appointment and get their shot.
State health officials said the timing is ideal because the country is racing to get people vaccinated before wave of potential variants hits.
Workers will vaccinate at least 200 Hartford residents at the Wednesday clinic. Once supplies run out, they’ll also help people book appointments at other local clinics.
No matter where people live, they should move quickly because doctors continue to say that COVID-19 variants are spiking, and a Johnson & Johnson vaccine supply snag could lead to delays down the road.
The issue stems from the fact that Johnson & Johnson is not producing as many dozes as expected. Now, state leaders said they are working hard to ensure minimal disruptions but that the situation warrants monitoring.
"While the recent events at the J&J manufacturing plant have not affected any shipments that have already come into Connecticut and none of the J&J product currently in the state is compromised in any way, our J&J allocation for next week will be significantly lower than in past weeks,” the Connecticut Department of Public Health said in a statement. “Last week, our state allocation was 53,900 doses. Next week, our allocation will be just 6,400 doses of J&J, and we have been told to anticipate that future weeks could be even lower before supply levels rebound. We are working with our providers to avoid disruption, and we believe that disruptions will be minimal."
Nationwide, the country has been seeing more cases because new variants are starting to spread. In fact, nine states recently reported at least a 20-percent increase in cases.
Dr. Anthony Fauci said people need to be careful because the pandemic is at a critical stage.
"Several of the states are pulling back on mask mandates. They're pulling back on restrictions, on capacity for restaurants and bars,” Fauci said. "We've got to continue and hang in there a bit longer."
Connecticut is not one of the states that has pulled back on the mask mandates.
Information about the state's vaccine rollout, including how to make an appointment and locations for mass vaccination clinics, can be found here.