It’s Time to Roll Up Our Sleeves
The COVID-19 vaccine is finally here. It is widely available and according to all scientific evidence, it is safe and effective.
The COVID-19 vaccine is finally here. It is widely available and according to all scientific evidence, it is safe and effective. For the last year, we have been washing our hands frequently, staying physically distant from others and wearing masks. We have done this to protect ourselves and those we care about. It has been really hard to do, but it has worked. We are slowly coming out of this terrible time in our lives.
We can finally see that our collective sacrifice will pay off if we keep doing what we have been doing and sign up for the vaccine as soon as we can. It’s not time to stop taking precautions yet, but with more people getting the vaccine, we can begin to imagine returning to the joy of holiday dinners with children and grandchildren and friends, we can begin to think about traveling and eating in our favorite local restaurants and the simple pleasure of just meeting a friend for coffee.
Many of you have lived through even harder times than now– surviving war, starvation, economic collapse, segregation, and political and religious oppression and upheaval in your home countries.
We want to make sure that you survive these hard times, and getting vaccinated as soon as you can will help us all get through this pandemic.
You may remember a time when people smoked everywhere, when cars did not have seat belts, when no one even considered wearing a helmet on a bicycle or motorcycle, and when children died from measles, mumps, smallpox, tetanus, polio, rubella, and whooping cough.
Now, in 2021, people are safer in cars and on bikes, fewer people smoke because we know it is bad for our health, and most importantly, we don’t lose children to those awful diseases because of the miracle of widespread vaccination.
It is human nature to suspect new things. But vaccines are not new, and we know they work to protect us from serious illnesses. Please know the facts and talk to your doctor, and friends and family who have already been vaccinated rather than believe rumors you hear on the Internet or social media sites.
Here are the facts:
- We do not know everything about COVID-19, but we do know that people die from it, and with a vaccination, we have the chance to conquer it.
- All of the vaccines currently available have been thoroughly tested and approved. And they work.
- The vaccine requires that you get two shots, spaced about a month apart.
- The vaccination might hurt a little the day you get it, just like the flu shot.
There are several ways to make an appointment, and more sites are opening every week. If you are not comfortable with making the appointment online, there are phone numbers you can call and speak to a person. Call Connecticut’s Vaccine Appointment Assist Line at 877-918-2224, seven days a week from 8:00am to 8:00pm. You can also call 211. Due to high volume, it may take a long time to reach a person, but be patient, someone will answer and help you make an appointment.
If you are comfortable making your appointment online, please use this link: https://portal.ct.gov/Coronavirus/COVID-19-Vaccination-Scheduling-Options. There are many options, including some pharmacies, health clinics and hospitals.
You only need to bring some form of identification to your appointment. Regardless of your citizenship status, you do not need to worry, the state will not report your status. Everyone is eligible for the free vaccination. You do not need to have health insurance.
There are translation options if you speak a language other than English. There are accommodations for those with disabilities or mobility conditions. We want everyone who wants a vaccine to be able to get one.
Use this guideline to determine when you can make an appointment:
- March 1, 2021: age 55 to 64
- March 22, 2021: age 45 to 54
- April 12, 2021: age 35 to 44
- May 3, 2021: age 16 to 34
For more information about COVID-19 and other state resources, please visit http://ct.gov/covidvaccine.
We are almost there - by following health and safety guidelines and taking the first opportunity to sign up for the vaccine, we will overcome this pandemic together and return to our dinner tables and hug our children and grandchildren!
And as always, please pass this information on to friends and family.
This article was written by Catherine Blinder, chief education, and outreach officer of the Department of Consumer Protection of the State of Connecticut. To learn more about how the Department of Consumer Protection can help, visit us online at www.ct.gov/dcp.