Health District hosting flu shot clinics

Published on Friday, 4 October 2019 14:00
Written by Catherine Shen



The Central Connecticut Health District is hosting eight flu clinics during the month of October and residents are encouraged to take advantage of the opportunities.

Free vaccinations will be given among their four district towns of Berlin, Newington, Rocky Hill and Wethersfield when patients bring their insurance cards. The district accepts Aetna, Anthem, CIGNA Healthcare, Connecticare, Harvard Pilgrim, United Healthcare plans, and Medicare part B insurances. The cost for all others is $25. However, no one will be denied vaccination for inability to pay, according to the district.

“We want to make sure that we can get as many people to receive their flu shots as possible. It’s one of the best ways to protect themselves, their families, and their communities,” said Charles Brown, director of the Central Connecticut Health District. “It’s been proven that it protects everyone as a whole when you’re vaccinated. The more people we’re able to do, the fewer problems we’ll have.”

The first flu clinic kicked off at the Wethersfield Community Center in Wethersfield on Monday. There are two clinics scheduled for each of the four towns and the district is expecting to see at least 2,500 patients this season.

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention recommends annual flu vaccinations for everyone 6 months of age and older, especially among at-risk populations with compromised and weakened immune systems. Vulnerable populations susceptible to prolonged infection and influenza-related complications include adults over 65 years of age, children under five, pregnant women, and persons with chronic medical conditions such as asthma, lung disease, heart disease and diabetes.

By making the vaccination process as simple as possible, Brown said people are more willing to come to get their flu shot. The clinics also serve as a test for the district’s emergency response plans, so when a potential outbreak happens, the district’s medical teams are already familiar with how to deal with a wide-range of medical emergencies.

John Athanbutler, the district’s emergency response preparedness coordinator, said the training not only helps to ensure that their teams are able to handle emergencies, but it is also a way for the community to know where they can get medical resources in case of a crisis.

“In each of these clinics, we’ll have doctors, nurses, licensed vaccinators, and other medical professionals to take care of whatever it is we need to take care of if there’s an outbreak,” he said. “The process of the clinics will be the same so we can work efficiently.”

For Pat Ciarcia, a registered nurse and clinic volunteer, she sees a lot of repeated patients coming to the clinics and it is good to see that consistency.

“This is a great opportunity to get people in for their flu shots,” she said. “We need to protect ourselves and the community, so it’s important for people to be aware that this is available.”

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Contact Catherine Shen at 860-801-5093 or

Posted in Newington Town Crier, Newington News on Friday, 4 October 2019 14:00. Updated: Friday, 4 October 2019 14:02.