HARTFORD, Conn. (WTNH) — Dunkin’ Donuts Park in Hartford is one of the latest sites to be selected for mass COVID-19 vaccination in Connecticut. However, the question becomes, with the new sites being added along with the personnel, will there be enough vaccine to go around?
Other states are running out; how about Connecticut?
“No, right now; if you get a reservation, you’re going to get your vaccine delivered on schedule,” Governor Ned Lamont said Thursday of the possibility of the state running out of doses.
States like Florida and New York do not have enough vaccine and have canceled booked appointments. The governor said Connecticut receives just under 50,000 doses a week, and our supply has been consistent.
“Could I use five times that amount? Absolutely! Do I hear from hospitals every day, ‘Give me more’? Absolutely! But that is why we are doing this by appointment. That’s why this is on a schedule and we have narrowed the cohort of people that can get it.”
The National Governors Association has appointed Lamont to lead the Pandemic and Disaster Response Task Force which will report to President Joe Biden and Dr. Anthony Fauci. One of the tasks is to figure out how to ramp up vaccine production, as well as unclog the bottlenecks in the supply chain.
“The number one bottleneck is probably the incredibly customized and specialized equipment that you need to mix the vaccines,” Governor Lamont explained. “It is not something you mass produce, we knew that, but we also knew that three months ago.”
And the governor said the Nutmeg State is ready for more vaccines; Thursday he called up more National Guard to help with distribution.
“At the governor’s direction, we are going to add another 200 service members, 200 Connecticut guardsmen to help with the vaccination effort, so either administrative or logistical support,” General Francis Evon of the Connecticut National Guard said Thursday during the governor’s bi-weekly press briefing.
Chief Operating Officer for the State of Connecticut Josh Geballe added, “There is far more capacity built today to administer doses than we have supply coming in from the federal government, by a significant order of magnitude.”
But Thursday afternoon the governor and his staff talking to the heads of Pfizer and discussed a rough timetable for more vaccine.
“Right now there is a real chance that by the end of February we will have doubled the production…And by the end of March, we could do that again,” Lamont said.
The governor’s office along with the health department has asked health care providers to monitor doses that can’t be used for whatever reason, (weren’t cold enough, expired, ect…). And so far, they’ve only lost five doses in total – one loss when one vial was dropped on the floor.