'We are at the mercy of what the state gets': Kent vaccine site not accepting new appointments

Photo of Sandra Diamond Fox
COVID-19 vaccination site in Kent Barns

COVID-19 vaccination site in Kent Barns

The Kent Barns CT website

KENT — People looking for their first COVID-19 vaccine in Kent can’t do so — for now.

The town’s only site — High Watch, on Old Barn Road in Kent Barns on Route 7 — is not accepting first appointments for vaccines.

The site has been removed from the 211 vaccine site map search results, and isn’t expecting new doses until early April.

High Watch hasn’t been able to schedule new appointments because it’s “uncertain as to the quantity of the vaccine,” said Jason Perillo, High Watch chief marketing officer. “Supply is what it is and just like everyone else, we are at the mercy of what the state gets.”

He added the facility will be getting more vaccines.

“Shipments come in on Mondays and we’ve been told we will be getting a new shipment Monday, April 5 at the earliest,” Perillo said. “We are eager to get our first dose.”

In the meantime, High Watch can acccommodate everyone who already scheduled their first dose, and second doses for everyone who has had a first dose with High Watch.

“There are still hundreds and hundreds of vaccines we’re administering every day,” said Perillo, late Tuesday.

He added Tuesday was “extraordinarily busy. We have first doses that are being administered. We have second doses that are being administered,” he said. “Wednesday looks like it’s going to be just as busy.”

While vaccine shipments come directly from the manufacturer, it’s up to the state to ensure more are delivered to each site, he said.

“Everybody is going through this at the same pace. We put in requests for what we need. The state does what it can to fulfill that with the manufacturer. It has very much been a week-to-week process,” he said. “Everybody is doing the best they can.”

High Watch has been administering Pfizer and Moderna COVID-19 vaccines.

Once High Watch knows when it will receive the vaccine, it will become active in the Vaccine Administration

Management System.

“We’ve been utilizing Facebook to communicate as much information as we can, so we’ll share our status there,” Perillo said.

Kent has no other locations where residents can receive a vaccine, according to Perillo.

Kent Station Pharmacy, at 38 N Main St., is becoming a COVID-19 vaccination site, but probably not before June, according to the pharmacy. Signs about the new site will be posted outside the door of the pharmacy, as well as on its Facebook page.

This pharmacy site would be in addition to the High Watch site and is not connected with High Watch.

Despite residents having to leave town to receive a vaccine, however, Perillo advised not waiting.

“If you want a vaccine, go to the VAMS COVID-19 vaccination system on the CDC website and book the first one that’s convenient, regardless of where it is,” he said. “Don’t wait.”

sfox@milfordmirror.com