HARTFORD, Conn. (WTNH) — Governor Ned Lamont announced Tuesday the state’s tiered approach to the Phase 1B COVID-19 vaccine appointments.
Last week, those over 75-years-old could begin signing up for appointments to receive their first dose of the vaccine starting this week.
Now, though the focus will remain on those 75+ for now, a likely date for those 65+ and essential works to begin signing up for vaccine appointments has been announced.
- Scheduling now: Individuals over the age of 75
- Scheduling next (likely early February): Individuals between the ages of 65 and 74
- Scheduling soon (likely late February or early March): Frontline essential workers and individuals with underlying medical conditions who have an increased risk for severe illness
The roll-out of the vaccine to staff and residents of congregate living settings will also be phased in throughout Phase 1b.
Nearly 1.4 million CT residents are included in the Phase 1B vaccination distribution rollout. The state says they anticipate receiving about 45,000 doses of the vaccine per week from the federal government moving forward.
If we get more vaccine from the feds, the process can be sped up, the governor says.
When asked if, with over one-million included in Phase 1B, the tiered approach is the best option, Governor Ned Lamont said, “I think it was the best approach. I’ll tell you: 75 and above easy to administer. We’re getting those vaccinations out quickly. A very high take-up rate. Sixty-five and above will be very similar: quick to administer, easy to identify who those people are. I think it made a fair amount of sense. My instinct is, after the 65 and above you’re gonna move more broadly to essential workers. Less about age group.”
The State Department of Public Health also asked Tuesday that all school districts, local health departments, and vaccine providers request “that anyone who has an appointment for Friday of this week or later cancel these appointments unless they are over the age of 75 or if they were eligible to receive the vaccine as part of Phase 1a. Similarly, vaccine providers with clinics scheduled past this Thursday that are not devoted to individuals 75 and over or eligible in Phase 1a are being asked to cancel those clinics. This is being done in order to ensure that Connecticut’s focus on individuals over the age of 75 is maintained.”
“We are working to administer the vaccine to as many people as possible, but the greatest barrier continues to be our supply as we are only scheduled to receive about 45,000 doses of the vaccine per week, while 1.4 million people are eligible under Phase 1b,” Governor Lamont said. “That is why we are working to roll this out in a way that gets the vaccine to the people who are at greatest risk first. The good news is that we are seeing an overwhelming number of people in our state who want to receive the vaccine – and that is a key component of keeping our residents safe from COVID-19. In the meantime, our administration will continue doing everything we can to get more doses of the vaccine into Connecticut as quickly as possible.”
“We have begun in earnest vaccinations of our 75 and older population,” Acting Public Health Commissioner Dr. Deidre Gifford said. “We have dozens of large vaccination clinics up and running throughout the state with more coming online soon. In order to vaccinate our 75 plus residents as quickly as possible so that we can move on to the other groups within 1b, it is critical that we focus on getting shots in the arms of those elderly and most vulnerable residents. We continue to ask for everyone’s patience as we proceed through Phase 1b and on to subsequent phases. As you patiently wait your turn for vaccination, please remember to continue wearing masks, social distancing, practicing good hand hygiene, and gathering only with the members of your own household.”
More information about the definitions of frontline essential workers and the list of eligible underlying medical conditions will be made available in the next several weeks.
For the most up-to-date information on COVID-19 vaccination distribution plans in Connecticut, visit ct.gov/covidvaccine.