HARTFORD, Conn. (WTNH) — The latest big COVID question: For those older than 75, how will they be able to get the COVID-19 vaccine in the coming week or two as the state rolls into Phase 1B? The big answer: With an appointment.
For information regarding registering for appointments, click here!
Here are main vaccine sign up links. Local health districts may also have their own:
- State Dept. of Public Health Registration page: https://dphsubmissions.ct.gov/OnlineVaccine
- Hartford Healthcare sign up: https://hartfordhealthcare.org/health-wellness/coronavirus/vaccine
- UConn Health sign up: https://health.uconn.edu/coronavirus/covid-vaccine/
- UConn Health sign up by phone: there is only 1 new scheduling line added 860-679-5589 (Choose Option 2). NOTE: the Program’s general line is 860-679-8888 for general questions or vaccine issues.
- Yale sign up: https://www.ynhhs.org/patient-care/covid-19/vaccine/get-your-covid-vaccine.aspx NOTE: They will begin vaccinating individuals Wednesday, Jan. 20. Appointments will be on a first-come, first-serve basis. Public vaccination sites that will begin to open next week: North Haven, New London, Old Saybrook and Trumbull. A Greenwich site will begin the week of Jan. 25.
You can also call your physician about making an appointment through them or by phone with the state at (877) 918-2224.
Governor Ned Lamont encouraged patience with these sign-ups because so many people are trying to make an appointment all at once.
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Those in Connecticut over the age of 75 make up just five percent of the population, but they have a mortality rate of 60 percent from COVID-19. Governor Ned Lamont said that Thursday will be the first date when that vulnerable population can start making appointments to get their first COVID vaccination.
“We will have a communications strategy to outreach to patients but also community members and population members that are not necessarily our patients to be able to schedule vaccine,” Dr. Brita Roy, Co-Chair Yale New Haven Health task force for COVID vaccination.
Her message of outreach to those 75-years-old and over in the coming days is what the governor’s team has been saying as well.
“We’re actually going to be calling those individuals that we’ve identified that we need to get to and schedule appointments with them so that we can get them vaccinated as soon as possible,” Patrick Charmel, President & CEO, Griffin Hospital.
The governor also announced Thursday that in the coming weeks, Phase 1B will be expanded. The governor has approved recommendations from his COVID-19 Vaccine Advisory Group to allow two more groups into Phase 1B:
- Residents between the ages of 65 and 74 (approximately 353,000 individuals)
- Residents between the ages of 16 and 64, who have underlying health conditions that put them at greater risk of the virus (approximately 362,000 individuals)
In this first wave of 1B, Governor Lamont has asked the state Department of Public Health to prioritize people ages 75 and over. Once enough people in that age group get the vaccine, health officials will be able to address vaccinating others in Phase 1B.
RELATED: State officials say providers now able to begin filling COVID-19 vaccine appointments for those in Phase 1B age 75+
He said health leaders have been mining health data to identify those at high risk who may need the vaccine brought to them, including those on homebound programs like meals on wheels, low income and multiple chronic conditions. They have the highest mortality if they get COVID.
The most important part, though, is making an appointment to receive the vaccine. If you show up at the hospital or any of the other more than 100 vaccination locations across the state without an appointment, you will not be given the vaccine.
“We do not want to be Florida,” said Josh Geballe, Chief Operating Officer at the State of Connecticut. “We do not want our seniors camping out on cold sidewalks overnight. We are going to go through a more orderly process here in Connecticut; it will be reservation-based.”
The vaccine is strictly appointment only also because they don’t want people crowding around hoping they get a dose before they run out. Hospitals also need to space people out for social distancing reasons before and especially after they get the vaccine.
Dr. James Cardon with Hartford HealthCare said, “We need room for everybody to sit where we can keep an eye on you for a few minutes after the vaccine before you go on your way, so getting an appointment is critical there.”
Appointments can be made online. If you have MyChart, it will direct you there. If not, it will let you create a MyChart account and continue to schedule.
And while Hartford HealthCare has its system up and running ready to taking appointments, others like Yale and Trinity or Saint Francis Hospital have their own networks.
Dr. Syed Hussain, the CCO of Trinity Health of New England said, “The fastest way to do it right now as we expand our methods of how people can enroll themselves is to go through your physician’s office, your doctor’s office and let them know that you are ready to take the vaccine.”
When you go online you will get an appointment but keep in mind it might not be as soon as you would like because the federal government is only delivering 50,000 doses a week to Connecticut.
Josh Geballe added, “We have about 270,000 people over the age of 75, so it is going to take some time. We are hoping the federal government will increase the dose is in the coming weeks.”
“By Thursday, as the governor mentioned there will be a website a phone number for people to call. If you haven’t heard from someone and you want to take the initiative to book your own appointment those options available,” said Geballe.
As the week goes by, the governor’s staff will release information on exactly where to go online to register, as well as a call center number for those without internet access.
On Jan. 18, the first vaccinations for those in Phase 1B are scheduled to be given.