Tuesday, June 29, 2021
For Immediate Release:

Christopher Boyle
Department of Public Health

Annie Scully
United Way of Connecticut
Connecticut’s Vaccine Appointment Assist Line Celebrates 185,000 Individuals Scheduled For Their COVID Vaccine 
With nearly 60% of residents vaccinated, Connecticut remains committed to providing access to vaccine -- callers can dial 211 for information and help to find a vaccination location.
ROCKY HILL, Conn. On January 14, in partnership with the Governor’s Office and Department of Public Health, United Way of Connecticut opened Connecticut’s COVID Vaccine Appointment Assist Line (VAAL). Vaccine Scheduling Specialists have since handled more than 535,000 calls and scheduled more than 185,000 Connecticut residents for their vaccination (nearly 9% of the state’s fully vaccinated population to date). Beginning July 1, DPH and United Way of Connecticut will retire the VAAL dedicated telephone number, and callers will be able to access assistance by dialing 211.
"The team at United Way 211 has done incredible work to help combat the COVID-19 pandemic over the past nearly year and a half, and the VAAL is just one example of that work," said Governor Ned Lamont. "They have built new programs, hired large numbers of staff, and worked to train each and every one of them to have up-to-date information in a world where the right answer changes every hour. They are an invaluable resource to our residents, particularly when it comes to things like the VAAL, and gaining access to the COVID-19 vaccine."
"Connecticut’s strong pandemic response depended heavily on public-private partnerships to quickly launch new services that addressed emerging needs, and the United Way 211 team’s work to rapidly create the VAAL is a perfect example," said Josh Geballe, Chief Operating Officer and Department of Administrative Services Commissioner. " Throughout the COVID-19 crisis, they have stepped up to provide the people of our state the information and assistance they needed to protect themselves and their families, and gain access to services that can help."
“The primary focus of the VAAL was to provide support to those who, due to lack of access to technology, disability, language, or other barriers, could not successfully access the online and other scheduling options available,“ said Deidre S. Gifford, MD, MPH, Acting Commissioner of the Department of Public Health. “We know that the VAAL effort has met that goal – with more than 26% of the appointments scheduled serving those in our state’s most vulnerable communities. United Way of Connecticut, the Department of Public Health and other key partners will continue to work hard to ensure that residents can access the COVID-19 Vaccine through 211. “
This extraordinary partnership has helped hundreds of thousands of people overcome barriers to getting vaccinated, said Lisa Tepper Bates, President and CEO of United Way of Connecticut. “We have helped older adults who could not access online scheduling platforms, people who speak a language other than English, members of the deaf and hard-of-hearing community, individuals facing a transportation barrier and residents who are homebound. United Way of Connecticut remains committed to working with partners across the state to ensure that everyone in our state can access the COVID-19 Vaccine.”
As our state continues to recover from the impacts of COVID-19, we remain committed to helping all residents access the COVID-19 vaccine. Residents seeking to access the COVID-19 vaccine can now dial 211 to schedule their appointment or to access information about the virus. 211 Contact Specialists are available 24/7/365 to answer COVID related questions and to help residents access the COVID-19 Vaccine.
For more information about the COVID Vaccine including vaccine clinic locations and information about vaccine safety, visit the CT Vaccine Portal.
To find a walk-in clinic near you or for information on how to host a walk-in clinic in your community, visit the DPH Mobile COVID-19 Vaccination Clinics Portal.