Gov. Ned Lamont has announced a new age-based schedule for Connecticut residents to receive Covid-19 vaccines, beginning next month.
In addition to the age-based eligibility, pre-K-12 school staff and teachers, and professional child care providers, will be eligible to receive the vaccine in March at dedicated clinics that will be set up specifically for those sectors. Educators and child care professionals will soon receive information from their school administrators and employers on when their dedicated clinics will be provided.
Age is one of the strongest factors contributing to Covid deaths, with 96% of those deaths in Connecticut occurring in people over the age of 55.
The planned schedule is as follows:
- March 1: Expands to age group 55 to 64
- March 22: Expands to age group 45 to 54
- April 12: Expands to age group 35 to 44
- May 3: Expands to age group 16 to 34
The governor also announced on Monday that he is directing the Connecticut Department of Public Health to set numerical targets and work with vaccine providers to ensure that vaccines are administered to people living in the highest-risk communities in proportion to their population. Those targets and the associated strategies will be announced in the coming days.
Connecticut’s vaccine program began in December with health care providers and medical first responders, and then expanded in January to include all individuals over the age of 75 and certain congregate settings, followed by those over the age of 65 in mid-February. All previously eligible individuals and settings will continue to be eligible after March 1.
“In a perfect world, we would have enough doses of the vaccine to get it to all 3.6 million people in Connecticut right now,” Lamont said. “However, each state is being given a very limited supply, which is why we must take this phased approach.
“My goal is to get as many people vaccinated as quickly as possible, and I believe this is the best path to meeting that challenge,” he said.
“The Department of Public Health is committed to an equitable vaccination program,” said Connecticut Acting Public Health Commissioner Dr. Deidre Gifford, who also serves as co-chair of the Governor’s Covid-19 Vaccine Advisory Group. “Sticking with an age-based vaccine rollout allows our vaccine providers to get as many shots as possible as quickly and equitably as possible into the arms of Connecticut residents, and vaccinating our education and child care workforce will get our children back in the classroom this school year.”
Connecticut Business and Industry Association President and CEO Chris DiPentima said that, while essential employers had spent time and resources preparing for the vaccine rollout based on the initial guidance, he understood the need to pivot.
“We cannot rebuild our economy and recover from the pandemic without first addressing the public health crisis,” he said. “This new approach allows for more workers across Connecticut to get vaccinated in a short period of time, and it eliminates potentially complicated rules, making it easier and more equitable for everyone to receive their vaccination. It is critical that we vaccinate as many people as possible as quickly as possible.”
All eligible individuals in Connecticut are required to make an appointment in advance of receiving the vaccine. The governor cautioned that residents age 55 to 64 should not attempt to make an appointment now; they will not be able to schedule one until the program expands to their age group on March 1.
To locate vaccination clinics, visit ct.gov/covidvaccine.
Those who do not have access to the internet can call Connecticut’s Vaccine Appointment Assist Line at 877-918-2224. The line is open seven days a week from 8 a.m. to 8 p.m.