CONNECTICUT Connecticut on Thursday opened registration for residents over the age of 75 to make appointments to receive the coronavirus vaccine. Injections start Monday as phase 1b of the state's coronavirus vaccination plan kicks off.
Gov. Ned Lamont accepted the state coronavirus vaccine advisory group's recommendation to expand phase 1b to around 1.3 million Connecticut residents, which is more than a third of the state's population.
Lamont's administration expects to receive around 46,000 vaccine doses per week from the federal government. The supply of vaccinations continues to be the big bottleneck in Connecticut and not the ability to administer them.
"The Connecticut Department of Public Health has worked diligently with our healthcare partners across the state to increase access to the vaccine, but I must continue to urge patience at this point in time," Lamont said in a statement. "We know many people are excited to receive the vaccine and the promise of the future that comes with it, but we are limited in our ability to distribute them purely based on the amount we receive from the federal government."
To date, more than 160,000 people in Connecticut have received a vaccine and the state ranks fifth nationally for the highest percent of the population vaccinated.
- Residents in congregate settings like prisons and homeless shelters (50,000 people).
- Residents over 75 (277,000 people).
- Frontline essential workers (325,000 people).
- Residents 65 to 74 years old (353,000 people).
- Residents 16 to 64 years old who have an underlying health condition that puts them at greater risk for coronavirus complications (362,000 people).
Residents over the age of 75 will be given first priority until supply increases and demand for the age group wanes. The next priority group will be based on equity and risk from coronavirus infections, according to a statement from Lamont's office.
Many providers including Griffin Hospital, Trinity Health of New England, Nuvance Health, Stamford Hospital, Bristol Hospital, local health departments and federally qualified health centers are using the Vaccine Administration Management System for scheduling appointments.
The state will set up a phone line for people 75 and older to schedule appointments. The phone number is 877-918-2224 and is made possible by a partnership with United Way of Connecticut.
The phone line is meant mainly for vaccine recipients who have limited technology access or other barriers that would prevent them from using the online system. The line will take calls Monday through Friday from 8 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. There will be a call-back option.
Appointments can be scheduled now, but there is limited availability. State officials encouraged people to be patient as the vaccine supply and administrative capacity increases.
State officials also encourage people not to contact their doctor or medical provider about vaccines if they haven't already been contacted.