CT COVID-19 vaccine plan revised to inoculate residents by age groups
Gov. Ned Lamont has changed the COVID-19 vaccine rollout plan as the state will now vaccinate people by age.
Essential workers and people with certain underlying medical conditions would have been up next under the initial plan. However, Lamont said it got too complicated and vaccinating people by age is the way to go.
Under the revised plan, residents age 55 to 64 will become eligible on March 1. Then on March 22, residents aged 45 to 54 age become eligible. The 35 to 44 age group will become eligible for the vaccine on April 12. Then finally on May 3, the 16 to 34 age group will become eligible.
"Look, we're not blazing a new trail. Like I said, we've looked over in Europe, we've seen a great deal of success there. The health care professionals gave me a great deal of confidence and we're still prioritizing those most at risk," Lamont said. "Age is a key to determine in terms of risk of fatalities, complications, hospitalizations -- all the things we're desperately trying to avoid."
Officials say many people with underlying conditions, who were set to be vaccinated next, are still covered in the 55 and older age group. However, kindergarten through 12th grade faculty, cafeteria workers, bus drivers, custodians, paraeducators and all in-person volunteers as well as child care workers will all be able to get vaccinated next month. They will have specific clinics set up for them. Officials say the goal is to get students back in the classroom, five days a week, as soon as possible.
"The issue has not been that there's been a lot of people getting COVID in our schools. It's that a lot of teachers and other professionals in the schools have had to quarantine because of exposures, and that's forced a lot of shutdowns, temporary shutdowns of schools, that if we want to keep schools open and get more schools open fully between now and the end of the year, we can avoid that by getting people vaccinated," says Chief Operating Officer Josh Geballe.
Those eligible to get vaccinated right now are those in Phase 1A and those 65 and older under Phase 1B.
Lamont is encouraging the 65 and older age group to sign up now because come March 1, when those 55 and older become eligible, he anticipates there will be a surge of people signing up.