Gov. Lamont's age-based vaccine plan raises questions for essential workers, people of color
Gov. Ned Lamont's new vaccine rollout, which now goes by age with the exception of teachers, is facing backlash because critics say it could leave a lot of people waiting.
Connecticut was already struggling to vaccinate people of color. Now critics say Lamont's new plan makes that effort even harder.
Among the elderly, white patients got almost 60% of COVID-19 vaccines. Barely more than 4% went to Blacks and Hispanics.
Lamont promises his new plan, which only prioritizes by age, will not leave minorities behind.
"We're going to work our heart out to make sure that everybody living in those under-served communities gets their shot," he says.
But Lamont's plan does mean tens of thousands of essential workers will now have to wait. Most are people of color.
“They're people that are serving their community, and have been since the start of the pandemic. And are at great risk because of doing that," Connecticut ACLU Executive Director David McGuire.
Lamont says a simpler rollout gets the vaccine to everyone faster.
"I'm not going to say whether it's fair or unfair," says Stamford NAACP President Guy Fortt.
The NAACP says the bigger problem is many minorities don't still don't want a COVID-19 shot.
"A lot of essential workers don't even want to get vaccinated. That's the first thing. We're having a problem with that," says Fortt.
To get the numbers up, a new mass vaccination site just opened in Bridgeport.
"For this first week, we're aiming about 1,000 vaccinations," says Dr. Corina Marcu, of Hartford HealthCare.
But sites can only vaccinate people who are eligible, and for many, that's now a longer wait.
"They could have a vaccine site or transportation right near them, but again, if they are not eligible, it's not going to help them," says McGuire.
News 12's Power and Politics will be taking a deep dive into the racial gap in Connecticut's vaccine rollout.