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Mistake Allows Conn. Private School Employees Access To Vaccine

Covid-19 Vaccine

Eleven employees at a private school in New London received COVID-19 vaccinations after they were mistakenly identified as eligible for shots meant only for health care workers and those in nursing homes.

Mark Fader, the head of the Williams School, told The Day of New London he was notified late last month by the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention that his school had been classified by the state as part of a “critical infrastructure group," eligible to be part of the first group of state residents to receive the vaccine.

Fader said the school then followed protocols and provided a roster of Williams employees to the Vaccine Administration Management System, allowing the school's 53 employees to get on vaccination rolls.

The local health district contacted the school on Dec. 29 to tell officials that the initial notification had been a mistake.

Fader said the school immediately advised employees of the error and advised them to cancel any vaccination appointments. He said 11 staff members already had been vaccinated. Those employees will be allowed to get the second dose of the two-dose vaccination regimen, he said.

Maura Fitzgerald, a spokesperson for the state Department of Public Health, said there have been very few cases of people receiving the vaccine “out of phase.”

“The school informed us of the error and was able to address it quickly,” she said. “They were very cooperative and we appreciate their prompt attention to the error. In a large-scale mass vaccination effort like this, there are bound to be errors, particularly as the effort ramps up.”

Williams is a private college preparatory day school for grades 6 through 12, which is located on the Connecticut College campus.