On Wednesday, Greenwich Hospital President Diane Kelly said that at the hospital and across the Yale New Haven Health System, they were seeing “a nice decline” in new cases.
Per Health Dept Director Caroline Baisley, as of Wednesday the town had 80 active Covid cases, which was an increase of 30 from last week when there were 5,031 cases.
The week prior to that there was an increase of 95 cases.
Ms Kelly said this weekend at Brunswick (May 7-8) there will be a walk-in “all are welcome” vaccine clinic for people age 16 and up on both Saturday and Sunday from 8:30am to 7:00pm.
She anticipated learning this week about Pfizer emergency approval from the FDA for people age 12-15 to be eligible.
“I actually think there will be a demand,” she said. “It’s just my speculation, but what we saw with that 16 year old age group, we had quite a positive response, so I don’t think the 12-15 would be that different.”
“If my children were of age 12-15, they would be getting the vaccine,” Kelly said. “I can answer that from being a mother, a registered nurse and health care administrator.”
First Selectman Camillo said he anticipated “the majority” of parents will want their children 12-15 to be vaccinated.
Camillo noted President Biden anticipated 70% of adults will be vaccinated by July 4. “I hope there’s more than that by then, but we’re going in the right direction,” Camillo said.
“We don’t want to have situations like in other parts of the world where there was a little bit of a hesitancy to get vaccinations, the variants were out there, and people let their guard down. And now they have issues,” Camillo continued. “We’re going to work hard to make sure that doesn’t happen here.”
Diane Kelly said Greenwich Hospital receives vaccines based on what the Yale New Have Health System receives. “We’ll have a Pfizer day. We’ll have a Johnson & Johnson Day. We had a Moderna day.”
And while demand overall has declined, and the population who were ready, “eager and waiting” were already vaccinated, Kelly did acknowledge that on the specific days J&J is offered, fewer people sign up, but overall demand had fallen off so it was difficult to single out.
At a press conference on Monday, Dr. Tom Balcezak, Chief Medical Officer of the Yale New Haven Health System, said across the system there was “the most slack” on the days they administer the J&J vaccine. On Monday morning, for example, Brunswick had about 960 appointments available for the Johnson & Johnson, but as of 8:00am there were only 25 appointments scheduled.
Balcezak said the profile of people being hospitalized overall was changing, which he said was a reflection that the vaccine is working, adding that survival rates were higher among those who were vaccinated.
“What’s changed is with the vaccination of elderly first, we’ve seen fewer elderly people admitted and fewer elderly dying,” he said, adding that the same pattern was taking shape for people age 50+.
As for “break through cases,” Balcezak said he was not aware of any deaths. “We have about a dozen break through vaccine admissions (across the system).”
Talking about vaccine hesitancy, he said there were now more doses than there were arms.
Balcezak said the health system had worked to penetrate 50 of the most vulnerable zip codes in the state and were now delivering more than 25% of their vaccine doses into those vulnerable neighborhoods which represent about 25% of the state of CT population.
“That’s definition of equity there,” he said. “We’re really proud of that.”
He said they were working to create more “pop up sites” at places like churches and houses of worship, where vaccination teams are dispensed to groups that have a minimum of 100 people.
“We’re blessed to have such an effective vaccine so early on in this pandemic. It’s up to all of us to encourage each other to get the vaccine, if not for yourself, then for the other people you will protect – your elderly neighbors, your family, your loved ones,” Balcezak said.
Asked about herd immunity he said, “If we don’t reach that 80% number, which most experts say is the threshold, that means we’ll be living with this disease for some time to come. Just like Influenza, Tuberculosis and Polio. In history we’ve only eliminated one infections disease. That was smallpox.”
Asked how long he anticipated the system would keep the mass vaccination sites open, Balcezak said rather than close sites, they would consolidate days.
“Given the geographic spread from Greenwich to Mohegan Sun, we need to have those facilities to have access to local populations. We’ll make the calendar clear. For right now I think we’ll keep the majority of those sites open and keep a footprint in each of the communities where we operate.”
May 3, 2021
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