Stamford 'No Barriers' program aims to get COVID vaccine to minorities, undocumented

Connecticut coronavirus update
STAMFORD, Connecticut (WABC) -- Connecticut Governor Ned Lamont visited a COVID-19 vaccination clinic in Stamford Friday.

The city and Stamford Health have partnered to create the No Barriers program, to ensure an easy path for minorities, undocumented residents, and non-English speakers to be vaccinated.

Stamford's West Side is one of the city's largest minority neighborhoods -- and where reaction to the COIVD-19 vaccine is mixed.

"I know a lot of people have taken it," resident Victor Vasquez said. "I'm 50/50 about it right now."

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Other say they don't believe in the shot, and so No Barriers was launched to ease access to the vaccination center and to remind residents that it is available to all regardless of immigration status.

"It doesn't matter whether you were born in Honduras or you were born right here in Stamford Hospital," Stamford Mayor David Martin said. "This disease will go after everyone, and everyone can spread it if you get the disease. We want everyone vaccinated because we are all safer if we do that."

Lamont toured the facility, saying the state is using the same approach it took to persuade people to get tested.

"I've got to convince everybody that the vaccine is good for you and the community," he said. "We're going to make it as easy as possible for you, no questions asked."

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The No Barriers program works by setting aside blocks of time to vaccinate those whose appointments have been booked through community groups.

"The importance is, we're trying to make it as easy as possible and no questions asked," immigration activist Anka Badurina said. "No insurance, no ID, that's OK. We really want people to come."

The next step is taking the vaccine to the people, with the city planning community-based vaccination clinics in Black churches.

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