Initial COVID-19 vaccination rollout sees strong demand in Connecticut


HARTFORD, Conn. (WTNH) — The initial demand for appointments to receive a COVID-19 vaccine in Connecticut has been strong. Most people are registering online, but call centers are also busy. Hartford Healthcare has fielded more than 20,000 calls to date.

“We have 36,000 people already booked for appointments through the month of February,” says Hartford Healthcare Senior Pharmacy Director Eric Arlia.

“It’s really been a great week with a lot of positive updates, I’m thrilled to see that our allocation of vaccine is going up,” he adds.

Related: How those in Phase 1B, 75 and older can sign up to get the COVID-19 vaccine

But even with a larger vaccine allocation, there are not enough doses to keep up with the total number of people in the 1B category, so the state is using a tiered system with ages 75 and over a priority.

Dr. Diedre Gifford is the state’s Acting Commissioner of the Department of Public Health.

“We’re going to have to roll in in waves in phase 1B and we’ll be notifying the next groups when appointments become available for them,” says Dr. Gifford.

The state has three ways to register for a vaccine.: Being contacted by your doctor’s office, signing up at the state’s website or calling their hotline.

Yale New Haven Health will begin vaccinating individuals who are 75 and older – the first group in the state’s Phase 1B beginning Wednesday at sites in North Haven, New London, Old Saybrook and Trumbull. More sites will be added as they are approved.

Hartford Healthcare’s Senior System Director of Infection Prevention Keith Grant got the vaccine and hopes everyone will take part so some semblance of normal lives can resume.

“We have an effective vaccine, we have a safe vaccine, and most importantly we have a process that will help back to the social norms of society the economic impact this has is significant so we’re also helping our businesses in general,” says Grant.

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