New Canaan officials: Fewer vaccines than neighbors makes ‘zero sense’

https://www.ncadvertiser.com/news/article/New-Canaan-Fewer-vaccines-than-neighbors-makes-15898337.php

Grace Duffield

Jan. 27, 2021Updated: Jan. 27, 2021 8:49 a.m.

 

Russell R. Barksdale, Jr., president and CEO of Waveny LifeCare Network in New Canaan, receives one of the organization's first doses of the COVID-19 vaccine in December. He told Hearst Connecticut Media that the state is not doling the vaccines out equiably, on Saturday, Jan. 25.
Russell R. Barksdale, Jr., president and CEO of Waveny LifeCare Network in New Canaan, receives one of the organization’s first doses of the COVID-19 vaccine in December. He told Hearst Connecticut Media that the state is not doling the vaccines out equiably, on Saturday, Jan. 25.Waveny LifeCare Network / Contributed Photo

Darien is getting three times the amount of vaccines as New Canaan. Other towns like Wilton received twice the number.

First Selectman Kevin Moynihan asked state Sen. Will Haskell to explore why the state Department of Public Health is giving communities with similar populations more COVID-19 vaccines.

New Canaan has received fewer than 200 doses, while “Darien will be getting 600 doses for the time period,” Moynihan said in an email to Haskell.

Darien’s population is around 22,000 while New Canaan’s is around 20,000.

 

“At the rate of 100 doses a week, it will take until March or April to vaccinate all of our seniors over age 75, when other cities and towns will be transitioning to younger seniors, age 65 to 74,” Moynihan wrote in the email he shared with Hearst Connecticut Media.

 

“Darien was allocated 400 doses for this week yet only administered 130. That means they have 270 left over, and they are getting another 200 doses next week. I speak to them regularly. This makes zero sense,” Moynihan said.

 

Darien will use all the vaccines the town has received, the town’s Director of Health David Knauf told Hearst Connecticut Media.

 

“Last week we received 400 doses (of 600 ordered) and gave out 110 doses at our first clinic,” Knauf said.

 

Darien has clinics scheduled Tuesday, Jan. 26, and Wednesday, Jan 27, Knauf said, adding that “those appointments will use up the remaining 390 doses of vaccine in our initial delivery.

 

“We have received another 200 doses today (of 400 ordered) that will be allocated to clinics to be held next week. I am hoping to receive and maintain an adequate supply of vaccine to offer at least two clinics a week,” Knauf added.

 

“Wilton is receiving 400 doses a week we understand. We know this because Waveny LifeCare Network is administering Wilton’s vaccination program,” Moynihan said in his letter to Haskell.

 

“I put my order in for 1,000 doses of Moderna for next week,” New Canaan Health Director Jen Eielson told Hearst Connecticut Media. “I was emailed late Thursday night that I am only receiving 100 doses. There is no explanation given.”

 

“It appears that the State is not being equitable in allocating vaccines to towns based on what we’ve learned below,” Moynihan said in his letter to Haskell.

 

“I’ve reached out to DPH to better understand how they make their allocation decisions. I heard from Redding and Bethel this evening that their joint clinic will also receive 100 doses next week,” Haskell said.

 

“The towns are reliant upon the state’s distribution schedule which does not appear in our region to be equitably distributed based upon the town‘s requested dosages nor population,” Waveny LifeCare Network CEO Russell Barksdale, Jr., said.

 

“New Canaan has 1,549 seniors over age 75 and 1,486 age 65 to 74. Although some New Canaan seniors over age 75 have been able to get vaccination appointments through VAMS (Vaccine Administration Management System) at area hospitals or other vaccination sites,” Moynihan’s email says.

 

“We would like to be able to offer our very oldest and infirm seniors in their 80s, 90s and some even over 100 the opportunity to stay safely in New Canaan to be vaccinated at Lapham Center,” the first selectman says.

 

“As you may know, we started vaccinating our residents, patients, and staff on December 21, 2020. Our home care divisions are currently providing nurses for those towns that have requested our assistance in vaccination,” Barksdale said.