Clinical trial shows Pfizer vaccine is most effective in adolescents, appointments filling up as CT residents 16 and up become eligible for COVID vaccine


HARTFORD, Conn. (WTNH) — Connecticut residents ages 16 and older are now able to register for the COVID vaccine. Now, that’s around 1.3 million people who can now sign up, with 700-750,000 people more likely giving a try on Thursday.

And while this is the largest eligibility group, the state is getting more and more vaccine doses than ever before.

RELATED: How CT residents 16 and older can register for the COVID vaccine starting April 1

“It’s the biggest group we’ve opened up to, but we are also getting more vaccine than we’ve ever gotten before,” state Chief Operating Officer Josh Geballe.

Geballe is talking about hundreds of thousands of doses a week track across the country and distributed across the state.

“Tuesday we find out how much we get, we ask the providers how much they can handle, how much do you want? We do that reconciliation. And by Thursday we are placing orders and by that next Monday the new shipments are arriving.”

We spoke with the Geballe about when the best time to sign up would be. He says, do not sit at your computer at midnight.

RELATED: Pfizer only COVID vaccine approved for 16, 17-year-olds, parent consent required

There might not be a whole lot of appointments immediately available because of the way the vaccine comes into the state. The shipments don’t arrive all on one day, but rather, trickle in throughout the week. It’s kind of a rolling schedule because the vaccine doesn’t arrive all on one day.

Josh Geballe: “The state allocation typically arrives Sunday or Monday or Tuesday, in that frame. The pharmacies get their allocation from the federal government on a little bit different schedule, and then there is this other allocation that’s going to the federally qualified health centers. That comes on a little bit different schedule, so almost every day during the week there’s more vaccine coming.”

That is why it’s important to just be patient, just keep trying in the morning, the afternoon, in the evening, and you will get an appointment.

Geballe says he expects this group to go quickly like the last one.

“In late April, we are going to see supply and demand crossover, and we are going to see appointments unused and we are going to be working harder than ever before to try and get out to people to find that last 20 to 30% population that hasn’t been vaccinated yet, and bring it right to their doorstep.”

And while the state’s chief operating officer has not had many days off in the last year, he says this is the time for public servants to step up.

“This is the opportunity to end this pandemic. This is the weapon to end the war and the faster we can move the faster we can get the shot in the arm the quicker we can get this behind us and save lives, and get back to a normal life, rebuild the economy get people back to work and kids back to school.”

Earlier this week, Pfizer reported that their vaccine is extremely effective in adolescents. In a recent clinical trial, there were no symptomatic infections found among children 12 – 15-years-old.

“Right now, only Pfizer’s been approved for 16 – 18-year-olds. We’re going to be targeting Pfizer for the high school and college population. And now preliminary testing is showing it’s safe for 12-15,” Gov. Ned Lamont.

“On Monday, we shared results from a study of adolescents ages 12-15 where we saw a 100 percent vaccine efficacy. This is really exciting and a potential step towards vaccinating this age group and hopefully getting our kids back to school in the fall,” Angela Hwang, President Pfizer Biopharmaceuticals Group.

She also said that Pfizer’s vaccine was found to be 100 percent effective in preventing COVID-19 cases in the South African variant. And with the variants quite prevalent in the world right now, the need to boost is a reality. They are studying at which time intervals that is.

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