VERNON — U.S. Sen. Chris Murphy offered praise for Vernon’s community vaccination initiatives Monday during a visit to a clinic at the Senior Center on Bolton Road, saying that he would use the town’s efforts as an example to others in Congress.

“I just wanted to see best practices — and Vernon has best practices — to be able to bring this story back to Washington so I can explain to my colleagues why they’re not going to regret pushing more vaccine more quickly out into the community,” the Democrat said, “because we have the ability to get it into people’s arms.”

Murphy participated in a roundtable discussion at the Senior Center with Mayor Daniel Champagne, Town Administrator Michael Purcaro, North Central District Health Department Director Patrice Sulik, Vernon Police Lt. William Meier, Dr. Daksh Rampal of Priority Urgent Care in Ellington, Superintendent Joseph Macary, Imam Muhammad Sharif Kamalvi, and Rep. Timothy Ackert, R-Coventry.

During the discussion, local leaders emphasized that Vernon’s program is meant to target every area resident who wants the vaccine, regardless of barriers including language and lack of transportation.

“We’ve been effectively reaching the hardest to reach and the most vulnerable and at-risk,” Purcaro said, adding that Vernon was the first municipality in the country to partner with ride sharing service Uber to offer homebound residents free rides to clinics.

Meier said simplicity has been the town’s driving philosophy when conducting clinics, an approach that has included opening a phone system to allow residents to make appointments without navigating the federal online Vaccination Administration Management System, known as VAMS, which some have said is too cumbersome. The town also offers onsite translation services for those who are not native English speakers, he said.

“We’ve got great partners in the community, and we reach out to everybody. We’re bringing it to businesses, churches,” Champagne said. “I think the governor’s been making sure we have the doses because we’ve been very effective at getting them out, so he’s part of our partnership as well.”

Following the discussion, Murphy said Connecticut “continues to lead the nation when it comes to getting shots in people’s arms,” adding that the state is third in the nation in terms of the percentage of residents who have been vaccinated against COVID-19. “We still have a supply, not a demand, issue, so my job is to continue to push the Biden administration to produce more vaccine and get it to Connecticut. If you send it to Connecticut, we’re going to use it.”

Ackert, whose district includes Vernon, Coventry, Tolland, and Columbia, said through a prepared statement that “Vernon’s approach has become a model for towns across the state and even across the nation, an achievement that speaks to the creativity and perseverance of the town and its residents.”

Vernon officials have said municipalities from across the country, including New York and Texas, have reached out to the town to ask about its methods for effectively distributing the vaccine.

In addition to its regular clinic at the Senior Center, Vernon continued its “Getting Vax to Business” program yesterday, bringing its mobile clinic to Oakridge Dairy, an Ellington farm, to vaccinate workers onsite. U.S. Rep. Joseph D. Courtney, D-2nd District, visited the clinic and received an update on local vaccination efforts.

The mobile clinic also has visited Rein’s Deli and Swiss Cleaners, both in Vernon, as part of an initiative to allow employees to be vaccinated without missing work.