WATERBURY, Conn. (WTNH) — Governor Ned Lamont was in Waterbury on Thursday where he talked about the vaccine rollout among teachers and child care workers.
They are set to begin receiving the COVID-19 vaccine next week, along with the next age group, people between the ages of 55 and 64.
Lamont decided to break away from federal guidelines and dictate vaccines by age group. The federal government recommends prioritizing essential workers and people with pre existing comorbidities.
The next plan involves vaccinating teachers, paraeducators, custodians, day care providers, food service workers, bus drivers and administrators.
The move comes after the state’s largest teachers union made a strong push for the administration to prioritize vaccinations among educators.
Now, the teachers union is applauding the move.
“That’s going to be good for the safety of students, school staff, and it’s going to be good for the parents who need to go to work to know their students are safe and being educated,” said Don Williams, Executive Director of the Connecticut Education Association.”
It is now up to each district to set up their own vaccine clinic for teaching staff. Lamont says he believes Waterbury is the first district to get their program up and running as students are in a hybrid learning model. Waterbury officials believe this will allow them to open schools fully next month.
Waterbury is working with St. Mary’s Hospital and is getting their educators signed up for their vaccines beginning next week. They will have a designated hotline to call so they can get an appointment.
Right now the city only has about 500 doses of the vaccine available but the mayor says he’s hopeful that more is coming.
“It’s allowing our teachers the opportunity to get the vaccinations to feel comfortable to get back to work and that’s so, so vitally important,” said Mayor O’Leary.
“The J and J vaccine, as well as Moderna and Pfizer, are extraordinarily effective. The J and J has prevented all fatalities, all real complications. It’s a single dose vaccine unlike the other two, so I think you should be very confident with any of these vaccines,” said Lamont.
The governor added that next week the state should be getting 100,000 doses now that the Johnson and Johnson is approved for emergency use, which means that districts around the state will have more accessibility to them so they can start vaccinating teachers and staff.