Conn. will be ready if another pandemic emerges, Lamont says


FARMINGTON, Conn. (WTNH) — Here’s an eerie thought: What would happen if another pandemic were to emerge?

Gov. Ned Lamont, now the co-chair of the National Governors Association’s (NGA) Pandemic and Disaster Response Task Force, addressed a room of scientific minds Wednesday at the Jackson Laboratory Healthcare Forum.

The governor told the room full of scientists that the state was caught off guard by COVID-19, but he said it won’t be again should another pandemic come around.

“People were so scared,” Lamont said. “We just didn’t know, and Washington, D.C. was no help at all.”

The focus of the healthcare forum was the future after COVID-19.

“It has been a traumatic experience for all of us, and to a certain degree, it’s a shared pain because it’s throughout the world,” Edison Liu, president and CEO of the Jackson Laboratory said. “In this context, we’ve had to pivot. All of us.”

Lamont said he wishes Connecticut could have launched a testing program sooner, but he’s proud of public-private partners that helped administer over 1 million tests.

Looking forward, Lamont said we can expect to see vaccine mandates impact more than just health workers and state employees.

“You have to bring people along,” Lamont said. “You just can’t jam it. We found first with the vaccines, maybe only 50% of the people wanted to get vaccinated, then 70%, and now it’s close to 90% of the adults.”

“Pretty soon it’s going to be major manufacturers and even businesses with as few as 100 employees,” Lamont said.

The governor encourages everyone eligible for a booster shot to get one. Something only 30% have done so far. Looking at the Delta Plus variant, he said Connecticut is focused on vaccinating kids ages 5 and up.

“We’ve already placed our order for 100,000 of those vaccines,” Lamont said. “Smaller doses, different needle, different vile.”

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