HARTFORD, Conn. (WTNH) — In the rush to get the nation vaccinated against COVID-19, Connecticut now has the highest percentage of people getting the vaccine in the region, officials report. Nationwide, we come in sixth.
Almost 55,000 doses have been administered so far. Governor Ned Lamont said Connecticut is on track to complete vaccinating the first round of nursing home clinics by the end of the week.
The State’s Chief Operating Officer Josh Geballe said Wednesday, “Actually I just saw some data that shows we are number one in the nation in the percentage of nursing homes that have already gotten their first dose, so we are really out of the gates fast there.”
Governor Lamont said they are using some of the same networks they tapped for testing, like the pharmacies to get the vaccine out to the people on the front lines.
“Overall, this is a state that has pretty good infrastructure when it comes to the flu vaccine,” Lamont said. “We are able to leverage off of that to good effect.”
“CVS and Walgreens, we really have to give them a shout out because they have been doing a great job getting it out quickly,” Geballe said. “They are really well-organized and they are working really well with us.”
The governor said the state still has a lot of gas in the tank, and they are ready to hit the accelerator once more vaccine doses arrive from the federal government.
Geballe added, “We are really waiting for the federal government, Operation Warp Speed, to increase the allocations to all of the states and as that continues to ramp up, we will be ready to ramp up with it.”
The governor said it comes down to problem-solving because there are a lot of problems in the distribution chain.
“You have heard a lot about other problems in other states around the country in terms of delivery with problems in terms of long lines, problems in terms of getting people vaccinated,” he said.
“Really it’s communication,” Geballe said. “It’s hard work; it’s being prepared and working with our partners to make sure things go well and when problems come up – which inevitably they do – we knock them out quickly.”
Phase 1 is set to wrap up by the end of January, and Phase 1b will be coming out next week.
The governor asking people to remain vigilant during the new year celebrations.
“We’re doing well because we’re keeping our guard up,” Gov. Lamont said Wednesday. “Some people say ‘because we are doing well we don’t have to keep our guard up’. I feel like that’s the wrong message to learn over the last few weeks.”
The governor said, while he can’t enforce what happens in private homes, if businesses break COVID-19 health safety rules, fines will be exacted.