HARTFORD, Conn. (WTNH) — Gov. Ned Lamont is sticking with the plan that has worked through the first year and a half of the pandemic, “keep it simple,” and there is no shortage of vaccines this time around.
On Thursday, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) announced boosters of Pfizer’s COVID-19 vaccine should be offered to people 65 and older, nursing home residents, and those ages 50 to 64 with risky underlying health problems.
“People 65 years and older have been approved, so people can start to get vaccinated as early as tomorrow,” said Dr. Manisha Juthani, Commissioner-Designee for the Connecticut Department of Health (DPH).
The focus is on the most vulnerable.
“Our parents and grandparents,” Lamont said. “We are not going to let happen what happened early on in this pandemic. We are going to pay special attention to our loved ones in the nursing homes.”
In all, there are around 275,000 people who fall into that 65 years and older category, and they will be able to get the booster shot anywhere Pfizer is distributed in the state. Juthani said this time around, there will not be nearly the amount of urgency as when the pandemic first broke out.
“People also have to remember they already have immunity. This is not going from zero immunity and the mad rush that we had back in the spring,” Juthani said.
Dr. Juthani said she likes the direction Connecticut is going in. When the pandemic first started, there were a lot of cases and hospitalizations. With the second wave, there were fewer and even fewer with the Delta variant, but she says in the winter months coming, they have to get as many people vaccinated as possible,
“As we get children eligible for vaccines as well, there is a possibility that we will be able to continue getting better and better,” Juthani said.
As the CDC and researchers push forward with Moderna and J&J, they will also be looking at when the Pfizer booster can be given to anyone who has already had their first two doses. Juthani believes boosters will be necessary for everyone who is vaccinated.
“It is likely that immunity will wane, so when boosters will be required for those under the age of 65 will be determined in the days and months ahead,” Juthani said.
The governor says there are more than 800 vaccination sites statewide but not all of them have Pfizer. Click here to find a nearby clinic if you are eligible for a third dose.