When East Hampton Town first floated the idea of running its own vaccination clinics, pressed by residents frustrated with the difficulty of securing appointments and the distance they might have to travel to get them, we were skeptical the town could pull it off.
Supplies were unpredictable, even larger entities seemed to be scrambling for their fair share, and — let’s face it — East Hampton often seems to be an afterthought when it comes to so many state or county initiatives. How could the town possibly convince the powers that be that it should get a direct allocation of vaccines, and could effectively administer them with the help of a corps of volunteers, no less?
We are happy to say we were proven wrong. The town pulled it off again and again, retooling an empty former school building to become a vaccination hub and delivering Covid-19 vaccines into the arms of thousands of people who live and work here.
It has been no small task to organize these clinics. With the town supervisor’s and town board’s determination to make them happen and the help of medical advisers to oversee the effort, they have proven to be a resounding success. Volunteers stepped up to direct vehicle traffic, check appointments, take personal information, fill out vaccination cards, administer the shots, supervise the post-injection waiting rooms, guide the public through the maze of rooms and stations (as we repeatedly paused to say hi to folks we had not seen for a year or more), and check people out at the end. And let’s not forget to mention the town police, who spent long hours waving vehicles in and out over many days. Kudos to all for their time, patience, and selfless dedication.
This has been an encouraging example of what a community can do when enough of its members set their sights on something and let their feet follow.