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Connecticut officials at a New Haven pop-up clinic urge people to get booster shots

A COVID-19 vaccine being prepared at the New York State drive-thru vaccination site at Plattsburgh International Airport.
Office of N.Y. Gov. Andrew Cuomo

Connecticut’s daily COVID-19 positivity rate has remained above 5% for the past week. On Monday state officials were at a pop-up clinic at Union Station in New Haven to urge people to get booster shots.

The uptick of COVID-19 cases is mainly from unvaccinated people infected by the Delta variant, even though a case of the Omicron variant has now been detected in the state, said Governor Ned Lamont. That’s why it's best for everyone to be vaccinated, he said.

“With each of these variants coming along we can’t always prevent mild illness. But you've got to know that the boosters and the vaccines are keeping you out of the hospitals and out of the morgue,” said Lamont.

The state’s first case of the COVID-19 Omicron variant has so far been mild, according to state officials. That’s an indication that vaccines and booster shots help with the new variant, said Dr. Manisha Juthani, the state’s public health commissioner.

"If we convert this disease into something where you cuddle up in a blanket if you are vaccinated and stay home for a few days and then get better, that is a successful vaccine. That kept you out of the hospital and kept you alive and well with your family this holiday season,” she said.

That’s why state officials urge everyone 5 years old and above to get vaccinated, and those 18 and older who are vaccinated to get booster shots, she said.

The pop-up clinic at Union Station is part of the state’s effort to make booster shots readily available. It’s open to residents and commuters every Monday, Wednesday and Friday until the end of the month. Pharmacies across the state have seen a demand for booster shots since the Omicron variant was identified in the U.S. last month.

As WSHU Public Radio’s award-winning senior political reporter, Ebong Udoma draws on his extensive tenure to delve deep into state politics during a major election year.