CT COVID Advisory Group recommends expanding qualifying groups in next phase of vaccinations


HARTFORD, Conn. (WTNH) — Big changes could be on the way to how the COVID-19 vaccine is distributed in Connecticut. More people might get the vaccine earlier than expected.

RELATED: State officials say providers now able to begin filling COVID-19 vaccine appointments for those in Phase 1B age 75+

We were told we will all be able to get vaccine eventually. But for now, it is being given to frontline healthcare workers, nursing home residents, and people over 75-years-old.

Tuesday, some members of Governor Ned Lamont’s COVID Vaccine Advisory Group recommended expanding the list of who gets the shot and urged that these folks get it as soon as possible.

More than 50,000 people in Connecticut have received the first round of COVID vaccinations so far, but experts believe that is not enough.

Nichelle Mullins COVID Advisory Board, “We are recommending that individuals age 65 to 74 be included. We are also recommending people with at least one CDC recommended comorbidity between 16-64 [years of age] be included.”

Gov. Lamont appointed dozens of people to his vaccine advisory group, including medical professionals, elected officials, and business leaders.

Among them, Waterbury Mayor Neil O’Leary, who argued for two groups of people to be vaccinated sooner than later.

“One is the solid transplant folks which is less than 1,500 people statewide,” he said. “The other group I am advocating for are those afflicted with Down Syndrome. Both of those groups have a high morbidity rate; we are talking 3,000 indivduals.”

The group also agreed to lower the age from 75 to 65, but some argued that could lead to a vaccine shortage.

Dr. Ray Sullivan of the Brookfield Health Department said, “I just don’t want to give people false hope that the vaccine will be to them tomorrow or next week.”

The CEO of Trinity Health Dr. Reginald Eadie, which owns St. Francis Hospital, said ‘not to worry’: “We have an inventory and the State of Connecticut has done a great job. We still have freezers of the vaccine waiting to be administered.”

These are only recommendations that will be made to the governor and the department of health.

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