31 thoughts on “Moynihan: Town Should Consider Discontinuing COVID-19 Vaccination Clinics

  1. Kevin should try booking a vaccine as if he were 45 years old. It’s impossible to find a slot now. The Stamford Health system is now bottling you into the VAMS system. The various sites seem to be breaking down under the demand. New Canaan should continue offering the vaccine!

    • Our family is very appreciative of the additional resources put forward to make sure New Canaan has access to vaccinations and scheduling.

      Before pulling back it would be helpful for the town to research vaccine availability. I just accessed VAMS and out of the 25 locations in a 20 mile radius only one has availability starting April 28th for a first shot.

      Additionally many of us are receiving the Pfizer Vaccine at Lapham. According to VAMS there is only one location that has openings for a second shot starting April 23rd in a 20 mile radius.

      Lastly I just researched appointment availability at CVS and Walgreens in the state of CT and everything appears booked.

      I would suggest making sure that choices exist for our residents before pulling back.

  2. How about getting the people who work in New Canaan vaccinated? For example, the people who work at Benefit and the nail salons. It would create safety and then normalcy for the community.

  3. Totally agree with Deborah’s comment. Kevin, have you personally explored how difficult it is to get an appointment anywhere within a 100 mile radius of New Canaan through the VAMS system? Yeah, that’s the problem with a global pandemic that’s killed half a million people in the U.S. – it puts a stress on pretty much everything. The Lapham clinic is such a godsend to the town. How anyone could consider shutting it down is insanity.

  4. The town should absolutely not consider discontinuing the vaccine clinics, at least not at this point in time. The clinic is an extremely valuable town benefit and is incredibly well-run. Since opening up to non-educators last week, I’m curious how many in town have taken advantage of the opportunity to be vaccinated there. All those people are expecting to get their second shot at Lapham in early-to-mid April, myself included. The fact that 750 residents will be vaccinated there TODAY speaks volumes about the need for this location to stay afloat. The town benefits far exceed any strain on the Health Department.

  5. Keep the program, please. Getting vaccine appts. for 55 and older was not easy. VAMS online did not work at all, so I tried the 877 #. The recording said to use the online VAMS at first. I called 877-918-2224 a week later and finally got both appts at Lord and Taylor. One down, one to go. I didn’t even try the New Canaan offering after I read that the 55 and older crowd was yelling at the volunteers. By the way, thanks, volunteers, for all you do.

  6. I had my two shots at Lapham but my wife (65) could never get an appointment. She was able to go to Stamford Hospital…shot 1 so far.
    I do recommend keeping Lapham open until we are sure the other systems (notably the pharmacies) are up and running properly. And I would then suggest a hybrid approach once the market/availability is opened to 16+: continue to use Lapham for the 45+ until that group is completed. 16-44 could go to the pharmacies and other outlets. Lapham probably won’t be able to handle that surge.
    Just a thought.

  7. Now is the absolute wrong time to halt the Health Department vaccinations! Recipients of a first dose at Lapham are counting on receiving a second dose there, and they have not sought alternatives; variants are spreading; vaccine availability elsewhere generally remains tight; and very soon the expansion of eligibility to persons 16+ will flood the system with substantially greater demand.
    Congratulations to the Health Department for stepping up in this time of need. Their fine work should be applauded and supported, not shut down while the mission is far from accomplished.

  8. I think this is huge service to the citizens of the town and to discontinue it is a big mistake! With 2 more large age groups approved to get the vaccine, we need the town to continue their program. It is hard to get an appointment online with the State.

  9. I agree with everyone to keep the vaccinationS going at lapham. We all appreciate the health department and our vaccines. At least finish all the age groups. It really would be beneficial to the town!

  10. Getting as many vaccinated as quickly as possible is important for our community – and making it convenient to do so will help us meet that objective. Our DPH and school nurses have worked tirelessly for these clinics – I hope our town can keep them to ensure residents have easy opportunities to get vaccinated but ensure that DPH has the funding/staffing they need. It is likely the most important service our town can offer right now!

  11. Instead of considering this as a convenience for all, how about reconfiguring it to protect and support our most at-risk? How about we turn the clinic into one strictly for those with underlying health conditions, front-line workers and / or access issues (eg., transportation)?

    For those who are otherwise fully able and less at-risk, once the initial eligibility rush is over, nearby appointments are not *that* hard to get. Try calling instead of going online — 877-918-2224.

    • Well, as long as your vote is to keep Lapham open and continue to do its amazing work, why not just let them keep doing things exactly as they are? Seems to be working great as it is. The goal is to get everyone vaccinated as quickly and conveniently as possible. The state has decided to roll-out by age group. Locally deciding to add more filters to that process seems at best confusing, and at worse maybe a little out of our legal wheelhouse?

      • There are plenty of opportunities for most of us who live in New Canaan to get vaccinated “as quickly and conveniently as possible,” even if it’s a few minutes farther than our town line. Most everyone i know has done it in Stamford (including my family). My vote is to prioritize the vulnerable here in our town. For many folks, the challenges with vaccine access go far beyond just being able to make an appointment easily. If there’s not a way to make it work logistically, then I would first like hear more about what kind of virus-related (or other) work the clinic is taking our Health Department away from before i say that keeping it open is still the right thing to do. I agree with everyone that the Health Department is doing amazing work and no doubt popping over to Lapham is easier. But, there are tradeoffs, and i’d like to see what they are first for the work of the agency. I don’t for a minute believe that shutting down our town clinic is going to slow down the rate of New Canaan folks getting vaccinated. Sorry but we’ll have to agree to disagree on this.

  12. No Mr. Moynihan, with (what someone else here pointed out) only 25% of New Canaan being vaccinated to date and potential variant waves coming and everyone 18 plus becoming eligible on April 1st. wouldn’t it be safer and more prudent to continue our Lapham Center vaccinations? In addition what are the towns plans in the event that the current trials on kids suggests that they too get a vaccine? Are we going to ask their parents to make appointments in Stamford or New Haven and then drive them when we could potentially handle that here in town? I know it is a strain on our public health workers, but don’t stop when the job isn’t done yet.

  13. By providing free, easy-to-schedule vaccines for all of its residents, New Canaan is setting an incredible example of what a community should do for its residents, and the more of us who are quickly vaccinated at Lapham, the better it will be for our town. As someone mentioned above, logging into VAMS, CVS, Walgreens, Stamford Health, Hartford Health, and YNHH just to TRY and find a vaccine appointment is basically a full-time job.

    Three cheers for the wonderful Health Department team who’ve made this possible, and for the volunteers working tirelessly to make us safe. Everyone involved in the Lapham effort is doing this town’s most important work! But um, yeah, let’s not close up shop before we’re out of the woods. There are thousands of people patiently waiting their turn.

  14. Thank you New Canaan Health Department for all that you are doing to keep us safe! I had my first vaccine today and I am ever so grateful. My friends in other neighboring towns are having a difficult time getting appointments. All have been in awe of New Canaan!! Please keep the vaccine clinic open in New Canaan for all of its residents. Please.

  15. We are in a serious race between the covid variants and the vaccines. If we can dig deep now we stand a much better chance of success. Enormous thanks to everyone involved.

  16. I agree we should keep the vaccination clinic open. Need more volunteers to run it? Just ask and our community will answer the call.

  17. Just an FYI – I booked my appointment through Stamford Hospital today and it could not have been easier. I had been putting it off and finally decided to get the vaccine. I went on their website today, saw a few appointments that didn’t work for my schedule, so I waited a few hours and checked again. At that point, there was an appointment for tomorrow which worked for me so I booked it. Very simple. I’ve also easily found appointments for my family and friends that way as well. I urge everyone to check out Stamford Hospital.

  18. So well said by all of the above commenters.

    Rather than shut it down because the health dept. is stressed, more to the point to ramp them up, add resources so they can handle it.

    Personally, I was not looking forward to making 2 trips to Stamford Hospital, or even Bulls Head (Lord & Taylor parking lot), so I’m glad I finally got an appointment at Lapham. Apart from the waste of gas and time going out of town, it exposes us to a lot more people than if we just stayed in our own community. I looked on the computer several times, but as others have pointed out, that inviting list of apparently numerous places to get the vaccine (including Walgreens & CVS in town) actually has no appointments available. Admittedly, I did not try logging on at 12:01 a.m. (and I didn’t break down and try VAMS, preferring Lapham).

    Getting back to resources, a friend in central CT in the 55-64 age group had no problem getting the first dose from her town the first week eligible. In New Canaan, 55-64 had to wait a few weeks for educators (and anyone who works in a school or day care) to get vaccinated. Surely her town had to follow the same rules? How is it that her town was able to vaccinate both groups? Having just gotten my 1st dose at Lapham, I can affirm it was a wonderfully efficient operation; there is certainly no fault to find with any of the people staffing the Lapham clinic.

    In The Mikado, a small town is in danger of losing its status as a town, being merged into a neighboring town, if it doesn’t have an executioner and if the executioner doesn’t execute any criminals. We are not in the midst of a Gilbert & Sullivan farce, but similarly, it feels like maybe New Canaan should be in danger of losing its status as a town (don’t give Hartford any ideas!!) if it can’t manage to provide a vaccination clinic for our citizens during a deadly pandemic. At least until in-town alternatives really are available.

  19. I was at Lapham today and it was a beautiful thing to see. So much excitement, gratitude, and even a few tears. It reminded me how much I love our town! Thank you to the NC Health Department for working so tirelessly!

  20. Our town and Department of Health are doing such an amazing job caring for our residents. I have friends in neighboring towns who either haven’t been able to get the vaccine or couldn’t get one before May. If the workload is too much for our resources, I agree with others who say find other services to suspend temporarily or add resources temporarily. What’s more important to our population as a whole than vaccinating against a deadly, highly contagious disease?
    Cases on are on the rise in CT and more types of businesses are able to open up. We’re going to see even more cases as a result.
    Stopping the Lapham vaccination clinics is like a skydiver saying I can remove my parachute mid-air because I’ve slowed down.
    And what happens to those of us who are scheduled for a second shot at Lapham mid-April? Would we be on our own to find one that meets the CDCs timing guidelines? It would never happen which would leave hundreds of us incompletely vaccinated. That would be incredibly irresponsible on our town government’s part.

  21. If we need a special budget appropriation to keep Town Health Department vaccinations funded then just ask. We currently have $30 million in reserves to handle unbudgeted needs for these special situations. Sven Englund – Town Council

  22. I am not a clinician by training but would be happy to help out! After spending hours trying to find a vaccine on all VAMS and pharmacy individual sites, I was relieved to get my shot this past Wednesday. I am so hopeful that you do not stop this valuable clinic for the town, and am hopeful that when it comes times for my boys they will be able to get their vaccine in a timely manner. Please let me know if and how I can help to keep this option available for all town residents. Thanks so much, Kathy Mclallen

  23. With the 16+ age group opening up soon, it makes sense to make it as easy as possible to get a vaccine. New Canaan’s Health Department has done a great job so far at Lapham. Could the Town offer a vaccine clinic at NCHS for the 16+ group, or at least boost the appointments nearby at Lapham so this group has the opportunity to be easily vaccinated?

  24. I’d like to add my voice to those congratulating the town’s health department on a great job at getting the vaccination process up and running smoothly. I was amazed at how quickly I was able to get vaccinated and was also grateful that one of the nurses giving the vaccines (Bethany) came to the car in pouring rain to vaccinate my husband. With an expected surge in COVID cases anticipated in the next few weeks it seems premature to cancel this vital service to the community at this time. What is more important, after all, than the health and safety of our citizens?

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