Connecticut is planning to initiate a "tiered approach" to scheduling the nearly 1.4 million residents who fall in Phase 1b of the state's COVID-19 vaccine rollout.
The plan comes at the direction of Gov. Ned Lamont and focuses on vaccinating those resident most at risk for adverse health outcomes from the coronavirus first.
As of Tuesday, a total of 220,820 doses have been administered in the state, including 196,753 first doses of the COVID-19 vaccine.
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What Will the Phase 1b Vaccine Schedule in Connecticut Look Like?
The Phase 1b scheduling approach looks like this, according to the governor's office:
- Scheduling now: Individuals over the age of 75
- Scheduling next (likely early February): Individuals between the ages of 65 and 75
- 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
- Phased throughout: Staff and residents of congregate living settings
“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 in a statement. “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.”
The state said it will release more details on the definition of frontline essential workers as well as the list of eligible underlying medical conditions over the next several weeks.
“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," said Acting Public Health Commissioner Dr. Deidre Gifford in a statement. "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.”
Commercial pharmacies, like Walgreens and CVS, will be offering COVID-19 vaccinations to eligible residents in the coming weeks.
Ineligible Vaccination Appointments
Amid reports that staff from multiple schools in Connecticut were able to schedule appointments before they were eligible, the Department of Public Health on Tuesday asked residents to cancel appointments for Friday or later unless they are over the age of 75 or eligible under Phase 1a.
"This is being done in order to ensure that Connecticut’s focus on individuals over the age of 75 is maintained," the governor's office said in a statement.
Phase 1c and Phase 2
Phase 1c is estimated to start in May with Phase 2 scheduled to take place in June, according to the governor on Tuesday.
Latest COVID-19 Cases in Connecticut
On Tuesday, the state's COVID-19 test positive rate climbed slightly to 5.65%.
Of the 37,033 tests administered since Monday, 2,094 came back positive.
The state reported 27 net new hospitalizations on Tuesday with 1,141 currently hospitalized. Twelve more people lost their life in Connecticut due to COVID-19 bringing the total death count since the start of the pandemic to 6,682.
COVID-19 Cases in the U.S.
The nation reached the grim milestone early Tuesday morning. In the past two weeks, an average of 3,286 people in the U.S. have died from the coronavirus each day.a