Focus Remains on Appointments for Individuals Older Than 75; Individuals 65+ Will Be Next, Followed by Individuals With a High-Risk Condition and Frontline Essential Workers; Vaccine Clinics in Congregate Settings Will Occur Throughout
(HARTFORD, CT) – With nearly 1.4 million individuals included in Phase 1b of Connecticut’s COVID-19 vaccine rollout and the state anticipating to receive about 45,000 doses of vaccine per week from the federal government, Governor Ned Lamont today announced that he is directing the Connecticut Department of Public Health to proceed through the remaining groups in the phase with a tiered approach based on risk of adverse health outcomes from the virus. The governor is directing the implementation be done in an equitable way, with vaccine distribution points focused in areas where residents and communities have barriers to access and care.
The tiered approach to Phase 1b will proceed as follows:
- Scheduling now: Individuals over the age of 75
- Scheduling next (likely early February): Individuals between the ages of 65 and 74
- Scheduling soon (likely late February or early March): Frontline essential workers and individuals with underlying medical conditions who have an increased risk for severe illness
The roll-out of the vaccine to staff and residents of congregate living settings will be phased in throughout Phase 1b.
More information about the definitions of frontline essential workers and the list of eligible underlying medical conditions will be made available in the next several weeks.
“We are working to administer the vaccine to as many people as possible, but the greatest barrier continues to be our supply as we are only scheduled to receive about 45,000 doses of the vaccine per week, while 1.4 million people are eligible under phase 1b,” Governor Lamont said. “That is why we are working to roll this out in a way that gets the vaccine to the people who are at greatest risk first. The good news is that we are seeing an overwhelming number of people in our state who want to receive the vaccine – and that is a key component of keeping our residents safe from COVID-19. In the meantime, our administration will continue doing everything we can to get more doses of the vaccine into Connecticut as quickly as possible.”
“We have begun in earnest vaccinations of our 75 and older population,” Acting Public Health Commissioner Dr. Deidre Gifford said. “We have dozens of large vaccination clinics up and running throughout the state with more coming online soon. In order to vaccinate our 75 plus residents as quickly as possible so that we can move on to the other groups within 1b, it is critical that we focus on getting shots in the arms of those elderly and most vulnerable residents. We continue to ask for everyone’s patience as we proceed through Phase 1b and on to subsequent phases. As you patiently wait your turn for vaccination, please remember to continue wearing masks, social distancing, practicing good hand hygiene and gathering only with the members of your own household.”
Also today, the Department of Public Health sent a communication to all school districts, local health departments, and vaccine providers requesting that anyone who has an appointment for Friday of this week or later cancel these appointments unless they are over the age of 75 or if they were eligible to receive vaccine as part of Phase 1a. Similarly, vaccine providers with clinics scheduled past this Thursday that are not devoted to individuals 75 and over or eligible in Phase 1a are being asked to cancel those clinics. This is being done in order to ensure that Connecticut’s focus on individuals over the age of 75 is maintained.
As of Sunday, January 17, approximately 221,000 doses of vaccine have been administered in Connecticut since the vaccine program’s inception, including 196,000 first doses. Connecticut has administered 71 percent of the total doses it has received from the federal government, including 92 percent of doses allocated for all healthcare organizations and local health departments, placing the state in the top five of states for administering the COVID-19 vaccine.
For the most up-to-date information on COVID-19 vaccination distribution plans in Connecticut, visit ct.gov/covidvaccine.