HARTFORD, Conn. (WTNH) — Herd immunity happens when a large portion of a community becomes immune to a disease which helps intercept the spread of that disease from person to person. It’s a concept we’re hearing more about as more people get the COVID vaccine.

According to Governor Ned Lamont, people ages 45 and older in our state are nearing herd immunity. On Monday, Connecticut’s Chief Operating Officer Josh Geballe discussed how vulnerable that segment of the population has been.

80% of people 45 and above have been vaccinated. 92% of people 65 and older have been vaccinated.

“Those of the people 45 and above represent 97% of the deaths we’ve had in Connecticut from COVID-19,” Geballe said. “That gives us very robust protection among those who are most vulnerable and most at risk for severe illness and death from COVID.”

Meanwhile, hospitalizations are the lowest they’ve been in seven months. And the positivity rate is below 1.5%.

Lamont said with 71% of people 18 and above vaccinated, we are doing pretty well.

The FDA announced Monday the emergency use authorization of the Pfizer COVID vaccine for 12 – 15-year-olds. Geballe said additional Pfizer vaccines were requested.