Bridgeport health care organization among 1st in country to partake in expedited vaccination program

Optimus Health Care President Ludwig Spinelli says the White House called him and his team to help with the program.

News 12 Staff

Mar 13, 2021, 5:47 PM

Updated 1,171 days ago

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Optimus Health Care in Bridgeport became one of the first community health centers in the country to take part in President Joe Biden's expedited vaccination program Friday.
Optimus Health Care President Ludwig Spinelli says the White House called him and his team to help with the program.
"We're pretty excited about it," he said. "We're really trying to reach folks from under-served areas, folks who may be afraid of the vaccine, may have had a bad experience, maybe don't trust government type of service."
Spinelli says Optimus will soon begin receiving thousands of vaccine doses directly from FEMA.
Until now, he says he's been getting the doses from the state, which have been in limited quantities.
Dr. Elizabeth Rodriguez -- one of the medical leaders at Optimus -- says the expedited vaccination program feels like something she was born to be a part of.
"Coming from a Hispanic family that is afraid of a lot of things and the unknown, my mission is to educate them," she said. "I'm excited to be part of this journey to get everybody vaccinated against coronavirus."
The shots will be given at Hall Neighborhood House, a nonprofit serving the same people the president's campaign is targeting.
"Having this opportunity is right in line with our mission, so we're happy to do this," said Bob Dzurenda, executive director of the Hall Neighborhood House.
President Biden is directing states to make every adult eligible for a vaccine by May 1. Gov. Ned Lamont said Friday he expects that to accelerate Connecticut's timeline.


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