Update, Friday, March 5, 3:00 pm:
Currently the State has made anyone 55 and older eligible to receive the vaccine. Also, all teachers and day care providers are eligible. If you are having problems scheduling an appointment, you’re far from alone. The system is, right now, flooded. Please keep trying. While there are many clinics in our area, there isn’t, yet, enough vaccine doses. Statewide, 50% of all Connecticut residents 65-and older have been vaccinated. 75% of all Connecticut residents 75-and older have been vaccinated. The state hopes to have all teachers vaccinated by the end of March and seems to be in line with that goal. But presently, getting an appointment is not easy. It will get better.
Update: Friday, February 26, 1:45 pm:
On March 1, Connecticut is allowing people 55 and older to register for vaccinations. All teachers (of any age) are included in that phase, too. So far, 595 Sherman residents – that’s 16.39% -- have been vaccinated at least once. 83% of Sherman 75 year-olds and older have been vaccinated and 40% of our residents who are 65-years old and older have been vaccinated. The New Fairfield/Sherman clinic has vaccinated, at least once, 530 people and 70 of those are from Sherman.
Update, Wednesday, Feb. 10, 10 am:
Individuals 65 years-old and older are now eligible for scheduling vaccination appointments. Please go to the VAMS portal --https://www.cdc.gov/vaccines/covid-19/reporting/vams/index.html – and begin the registration process. VAMS has been somewhat streamlined and is now more user-friendly than before. However, if you have problems contact Sherman Social Services at 860 354 2414 Ex2 and Lynne or Lisa will help you through it. Vaccinations start tomorrow but you can register now., There are several openings at the Kent facility and also at the New Fairfield/Sherman vaccination center.
Update, Friday, February 5, 2:15 pm:
Soon the 65 years and older group will be eligible to go onto VAMS and register for a vaccination appointment. In the meantime, we’d like to see a strong push now to get the remaining 75-years and older group vaccinated. The Sherman/New Fairfield clinic, held at the New Fairfield Senior Center, will have many openings (starting today) on VAMS for next week. The vaccination center will be open Wednesday and Thursday from 3:30 to 7:30 pm, and on Saturday from 9 am to 1 pm.
Update, Wednesday, February 3, 2pm:
The New Fairfield/Sherman vaccination clinic begins today at 3:30 to 7:30. Right now, until our vaccine allocation improves, the clinic will run on Wednesdays and Thursdays from 3:30 to 7:30. You will still need to register via VAMS. This clinic will be listed as a local choice on VAMS and will offer another local option for vaccination. Presently, 75% of all Sherman residents 75-and-older have received at least their first dose. In a week to 10 days it is estimated that the 65-and-older group will be eligible for vaccination.
Update, Friday, January 22, 2:20 pm:
Update, Friday, January 22, 9:30 am:
Health professionals and others of us who are trying to offer clear information about Covid-19 and the vaccination process are sometimes straddled by rumors, especially on social media platforms. This has been an ongoing problem since the pandemic began. Below are some Twitter and Facebook misinformation rumors that have been recently showing up regarding vaccine and vaccinations.
Update, January 19, 8:30 am: Here’s a helpful VAMS tutorial that shows how the site functions and troubleshoots a lot of issues with signing up for a vaccination appointment. It walks you through the entire process. Worth watching.
Update, Friday, 11:30 am:
Last evening the state announced it’s hotline number for scheduling vaccinations. Schedule on the phone by calling the CT COVID Vaccine Appointment Assist Line at 877-918-2224. The line will take calls on Mondays through Fridays from 8:00 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. and will offer a call-back option when all contact specialists are busy serving other callers. The team will aim to return calls as soon as possible, with the goal of same-day response. This number is especially helpful for individuals who are not computer savvy as the VAMS platform requires a modicum of computer agility. Here is the State link for further information on vaccinations. https://portal.ct.gov/Coronavirus/COVID-19-Vaccinations
Stage 1b will likely go in its own stages. Right now it’s 75 and older. The next stage will be announced. This State website will be useful for staying up-to-date on that information.
Update, January 14, Thursday, 2:10 PM:
To clarify, the Phase 1b group will be operating in its own stages. Right now, ages 75-years-old and older are allowed to register in VAMS (the online platform). In the coming days, the working order for other 1b groups will be announced. Please note that VAMS asks initially for your name and email. This in turn generates an email back to each registrant wherein that person is responsible for answering the qualifying questions. Once those are satisfied, the registrant will receive a time and place where her or his vaccination will take place. Also, sometime in the next days, an 800# will be made known. This number will be there for questions and help. It will also allow users to register via the telephone.
For those who have asked, the New Fairfield/Sherman clinic is slated to begin on Tuesday, February 2 at the Senior Center in New Fairfield. Many in the Phase 1b group will receive instructions to go there. However, you might also receive instructions to go to other vaccination venues. One more thing: Governor Lamont has just today added individuals 65 years-old and older to the Phase 1b group. He has also added individuals with vulnerable health concerns. The timing and other details of this addition will become clearer in the coming days.
Wednesday, January 13, 2:30 pm:
Understandably, people are looking for guidance as to when, where, and how they can get vaccinated for Covid-19. The information pertaining to vaccination is quite fluid right now, subject both to change and updates. The state of Connecticut is planning on moving into Phase 1b on Monday, January 18. This phase includes individuals who are:
1. 75 years-old and older,
2. Front-line essential workers (teachers, grocery store workers, food service personnel, and others),
3. Individuals in congregate settings.
Once phase 1b is announced, people from those three groups will register or be registered in an online platform called VAMS (Vaccine Administration Management System). The information as to how Sherman folks will register and who will be doing it will be forthcoming. There is also going to be an 800# -- though that is yet to be announced. Please don’t panic over information that isn’t clear yet. It will be. Once you are registered on VAMS, assuming you are in the correct phase (1b is next), then you simply wait for your email (or phone call if you use the soon-to-be-announced 800 line) and you will be provided a date, time, and place to receive your vaccination. There are also individuals who are getting results by going through their health provider. My advice is to explore that option as well.
Here is a state link that covers a wide range of vaccination concerns. It is frequently updated. Use it as a resource.
Don Lowe – First Selectman
New Fairfield and Sherman need your help!
The Town of New Fairfield is in the planning stages for setting up a series of clinics to give COVID-19 vaccinations to New Fairfield and Sherman residents. As we expect early availability of vaccine doses will be limited, we will host a series of clinics for groups prioritized according to state and federal guidance. Since healthcare workers are likely to be vaccinated through Danbury Hospital in the first wave, we will likely start with other critical workforce (including teachers and school administration, critical town employees, as well as grocery store and food service employees and others who have frequent contact with the public), residents over seventy five, and residents with underlying medical conditions as defined by the Centers for Disease Control.
The scheduling of these clinics is wholly dependent on when we are supplied with vaccine doses by the state. While we do not have concrete information at this point, our best guess is that we may start receiving limited doses of the Moderna vaccine in mid-January. It could be sooner – or it could be later, depending on when the FDA approves the vaccines and how the State of Connecticut distributes them. Nonetheless, we need to be prepared. We are seeking nonmedical volunteers to make sure the clinics run smoothly and we fulfill all our obligations.
For every vaccine station, we estimate we will need 3-4 nonmedical volunteers in addition to medical personnel to administer the vaccine. These nonmedical volunteers will work onsite at clinics, greeting and screening those arriving for their vaccinations, providing registering residents when they come for their appointment, and assisting people after they’ve been vaccination.
All vaccinations will be done through appointments, using VAMS (Vaccine Administration Management System), an online system provided by the CDC that manages the vaccination process from beginning to end, starting with appointments and including required information, logging of vaccinations, and appointments for the second vaccination. We anticipate that some residents may need help with navigating VAMS, so we are also recruiting volunteers to help those who may need assistance in this area.
All volunteers who work onsite at one of the clinics will receive a vaccination at the time of their first volunteer duty and will be provided with all recommended PPE.
If your organization would like to assist New Fairfield and Sherman get through this pandemic as soon as possible, please let your members know about this and solicit their assistance. Volunteers should send an email to Selectadmin@Newfairfield.org or email@example.com, including their name, what role they might want to perform, email address and cell phone number, and any restrictions they may have for participation in such clinics.
Thank you for your consideration,
Director, Health Department
VACCINATION PLANS – NEW FAIRFIELD AND SHERMAN
Tim Simpkins, Director of Health
With the FDA’s approval of the safety and efficacy of the Pfizer vaccine for emergency use, the reality of vaccines for New Fairfield and Sherman residents is getting closer. We have been working together with the State of Connecticut for a number of weeks to plan and prepare for clinics to administer COVID-19 vaccines to New Fairfield and Sherman residents.
Since we expect early availability of vaccine doses to be limited, we will host a series of clinics for groups prioritized according to state and federal guidance. Although there is still uncertainty about exact dates, we anticipate the first doses may be available as part of Phase 1 in New Fairfield/Sherman in limited quantities about mid-January. It could be sooner or it could be later, depending on when the FDA approves the vaccines, how many doses are shipped, and how the State of Connecticut distributes them. Most likely, we will receive the Moderna vaccine, since its storage requirements are easier for small towns to meet.
We expect to use our allotments, as they become available in Phase 1, for a series of clinics for New Fairfield and Sherman residents in the following order:
- healthcare workers and first responders who have not otherwise received a vaccination through their workplace,
- residents over 65 or who have underlying medical conditions that make them susceptible to COVID-19 (as defined by the CDC) , and
- critical workforce (may include food service workers, teachers, transportation workers, Town employees who perform critical services, etc.).
The order and who qualifies may be modified by guidance from the State or CDC.
For Phase 2, we will offer vaccination clinics as more doses become available later in the spring for those not covered in Phase 1, as needed to supplement vaccine availability through pharmacies and medical offices.
Vaccinations will be available at New Fairfield/Sherman clinics using online appointments only to avoid lines. Because of the cold weather, early clinics will be hosted in one of the schools, the Senior Center, or Company A, depending on size and nature of population to be served. When the weather turns warmer, we may host drive-by clinics.
We have all required PPE or will receive them as part of the vaccination kit. We are in the process of installing the online vaccination tracking system that is required for all vaccination providers. And we are in the process of recruiting the medical professionals and community volunteers needed to run the clinics. For each vaccination station in a clinic, we will need 6-7 people, 3 of whom will have medical backgrounds. In addition to actually administering the vaccine, we will need volunteers who screen people, register people through the online system, provide information, and monitor people for reactions during the 15-minute holding requirement after the vaccination.
We are also making preparations for a communications program that will keep residents informed about our plans and urge everyone for whom the vaccine has been approved and made available to get a vaccination.
We will keep residents informed of our plans and when appointments can be made through the Town Tribune, New Fairfield and Sherman websites, and New Fairfield’s Face Book page.
If you would like to volunteer to assist in one of the upcoming clinics, please send an email to firstname.lastname@example.org, including your name, address, cell phone number, what role you would like to assist in at the clinic, and what limitations you might have for participation. All volunteers will be vaccinated as part of the clinic.
Scam Alert: Covid
As we wait for news on the Covid vaccine, please be aware of scam potential.
We will keep you updated with info as the vaccination nears. Below is an update from the Senior Medicare Patrol (SMP) an advocacy organization funded by the US Department of Health and Human Services. Senior Medicare Patrol was created by HHS to educate senior citizens on how to prevent, detect and report Medicare and Medicaid fraud, errors, and scams.
Sherman Social Services
Update from Senior Medicare Patrol -- The arrival of the COVID-19 vaccine has been announced and unfortunately scammers will use this as an opportunity to take advantage of people eager to get the vaccine. We don’t know what the scam will look like but it is important people are aware that scammers are eager to knock on your door, call your phones, send you emails and pretty much contact you any way possible. The Senior Medicare Patrol (SMP) will release specific information on known scams as they happen, but in the meantime remember these tips to help you avoid vaccine scams.
- You cannot pay to put your name on a list to get the vaccine.
- You cannot pay to get early access to the vaccine.
- No one from Medicare or the Health Department with contact you.
- No one from a vaccine distribution site or health care payer, like a private insurance company, will call you asking for your Social Security number, or your credit card or bank account information to sign you up to get the vaccine.
- Beware of providers offering other products, treatments, or medicines to prevent the virus. Check with your health care provider before paying for or receiving any COVID-19-related treatment.
- If you get a call, text, email — or even someone knocking on your door — claiming they can get you early access to the vaccine, STOP. That’s a scam.
- Be wary of where you get your information on the vaccine. Avoid unsolicited communication. For reliable information:
- Sherman Health Department and Sherman Social Services
- Your physician or pharmacist
- You can check out the State of Connecticut COVID-19 Response Website or
- You can read the latest Press Release from Governor Lamont on how the Vaccine will be released.
This scam alert brought to you by the Senior Medicare Patrol (SMP)