BRIDGEPORT—Yesterday, on Catholic Academy of Bridgeport’s St. Raphael campus, CT Lt. Gov. Susan Bysiewicz held a press conference with Deputy Commissioner Heather Aaron, Mayor Ganim, Executive Director Angela Pohlen, principal Sr. Elizabeth Doyle, and several state and local officials to discuss the importance of getting children vaccinated against COVID-19 in order to keep schools in person.
The conference was followed by a free vaccine clinic at St. Raphael for children and adults.
Bysiewicz said the clinic location was a natural choice since a benefit of being vaccinated is greater resistance to COVID-19 and a shorter, milder illness in the event of a breakthrough case. All of this means children stay in school instead of being home either sick or quarantining, she said.
“Now, when we’re seeing this huge spike in cases, the governor and I are really focusing on how we can best protect our children,” Bysiewicz said. “We know in-person learning is the most effective. We are here to highlight that in Bridgeport, as of December 29, only 50 percent of children 12 to 17 are fully vaccinated. It’s even less among children 5 to 11, so that’s why we’re here.”
St. Raphael offers instruction for children in grades K-3, so its students are statistically the least likely segment of the population to be vaccinated. State Deputy Health Commissioner Heather Aaron said the vaccines had proven effective in keeping COVID-19 at bay.
Angela Pohlen, executive director of the city’s Catholic Academy, which includes St. Raphael, agreed. With children starting to require hospitalization, she said vaccinating the youngest members of the population was the highest priority.
Catholic Academy will be hosting numerous clinics in the coming weeks, and Pohlen invited anyone in the community to attend.
“We welcome everyone,” she said.