State officials say providers now able to begin filling COVID-19 vaccine appointments for those in Phase 1B age 75+

Coronavirus

HARTFORD, Conn. (WTNH) — Those who are next in line to receive the COVID-19 vaccine will start to be notified this week.

Those included in Phase 1B include those 75 and older, frontline essential workers such as police officers, firefighters, educators, and child care workers, grocery store employees, transportation worker and those in group settings like nursing homes and prisons.

In a press conference Monday, Governor Ned Lamont said providers are now allowed to fill open appointments for people age 75 and up.

Thursday advanced registration for the vaccine opens for those older than 75, so medical providers will be able to begin outreach to their existing patients.

RELATED: How those 75-years-old and older will they be able to get the incoming COVID vaccine

Online registration through VAMS and over-the-phone assistance will also begin Thursday.

On. Jan. 18 appointments for those 75 and up will begin. Additional individuals in Phase 1B will be phased in in the coming weeks.

Within the next 72 hours, the state will be releasing more information on appointments as well as where you can receive your vaccination. Right now the state has more than 100 locations around CT. To help make it easier for those most at risk, there will be some mobile vaccination units.

State officials stress that these vaccines are by appointment only and not ‘first-come-first-serve.’

COO for the State of CT Josh Geballe explained, “The key message here…is it’s all appointment-based. We don’t want people showing up at vaccination sites. You won’t get a vaccine if you just show up without an appointment, so keep that in mind.”

President and CEO of Griffin Hospital Patrick Shermel added, “I concur with you that there is a concern. We open it up as first-come-first-serve we wouldn’t be able to manage the demand. It would discourage people from coming out.”

When making this call, the COVID-19 Vaccine Advisory Group had to consider who is the most socially vulnerable.

This next phase will likely include 800,000 people. However, some of the committee members said not enough Black individuals would be vaccinated — a population that is greatly impacted by the virus.

“I am a little bit concerned,” Dr. Marwan Haddad, Medical Director at the Center for Key Populations at Community Health Center Inc., told News 8 last week. “I am concerned that when we look at the list of essential workers in 1B that the percentage of Black individuals is really low.”

The advisory group is set to meet again on Jan. 14.

More information can be found on the state’s website.

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