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Gov. Lamont, Commissioner Gifford Visit Bristol Health to Provide Update on COVID Vaccines

By Bristol Health

July 08, 2021

BRISTOL – July 8, 2021 – Connecticut Gov. Ned Lamont and state Department of Public Health Acting Commissioner Deidre Gifford, MD,  joined Bristol Health President & CEO Kurt A. Barwis, FACHE, on Thursday, July 8 at Bristol Hospital to continue to urge Connecticut residents to get the COVID-19 vaccine.

Gifford shared an update that showed both good and bad news. The good news: more than 79 percent of all adults in Connecticut have received at least one dose of the vaccine, bringing Connecticut closer to achieving “herd immunity” in the adult population. Connecticut remains one of the leading states in terms of the percentage of its population vaccinated.

The bad news: there’s still work left to do. Gifford pointed out that several towns in the Eastern part of the state as well as some of Connecticut’s larger cities still have lower vaccination rates.

“We really want to eliminate any pockets of low vaccination rates, and that’s because we are seeing that the Delta variant is becoming the predominant variant.  It’s not predominant yet in Connecticut, due in large part to our high vaccination rate, but it could become dominant in these pockets of unvaccinated people,” said Gifford. “We know it’s more transmissible in the fall. We want to make sure we don’t have any areas that are vulnerable for a return of COVID in the fall. So July, August and September is really our opportunity to get to these last pockets.”

The state has launched its “Rock the Shot” promotional campaign to encourage residents to get vaccinated. The incentive program enters those who receive the vaccine into a drawing to win concert tickets throughout the summer and the fall.  The first winners of the contest were announced during the press conference, with the governor calling one of the winners to offer his personal congratulations.

“Getting vaccinated is incredibly important to protecting your family, friends, neighbors and community as a whole. I’m incredibly proud that Connecticut is among the most vaccinated states in the nation, surpassing more than 2 million of our residents being fully vaccinated,” said Lamont. “We can’t stop here – we need to keep the momentum going. The more people who Rock the Shot, the safer our state will be for everyone.”

To learn more about “Rock the Shot” visit ct.gov/rocktheshot.

Barwis added that Bristol Health, and health systems across the state, will continue to do their part in helping keep Connecticut safe.

“We have worked tirelessly to keep our residents, patients and staff safe – from being one of the first hospitals in the state to set up a COVID-19 testing station to now doing our part to getting as many people vaccinated as possible. To date, Bristol Health has administered more than 25,000 vaccines. But we have a lot more to go. We still have a lot of work left to do,” said Barwis. “These vaccines are safe and effective. They have truly been a lifesaving turning point in our fight against this pandemic.”

To learn more about Bristol Health’s COVID Clinic, visit bristolhealth.org/covid-vaccine.