State scrambles to vaccinate faster due to 4 more cases of COVID-19 UK variant

The state is scrambling to get people vaccinated following Gov. Ned Lamont's announcement that four more cases of the U.K. variant of COVID-19 have been reported in Connecticut.

News 12 Staff

Jan 25, 2021, 11:12 PM

Updated 1,234 days ago

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The state is scrambling to get people vaccinated following Gov. Ned Lamont's announcement that four more cases of the U.K. variant of COVID-19 have been reported in Connecticut.
A drive-thru vaccine site at Pratt and Whitney in East Hartford is now reaching 1,600 seniors a day. Lamont says it's proof Connecticut is keeping pace.
"Connecticut has been doing pretty well for the last 11 months, playing really good defense. Today we're going on offense," he says.
But getting an appointment at a vaccination site is still a challenge. If you go online, the federal website, called VAMS, can be confusing.
If you call 211, reaching an operator is tough. State officials say the call center staff was doubled on Friday and more workers are coming online this week.
"I want everyone to know that our team is on it. We've been on it pretty much 24/7," says Dr. Deidre Gifford, the acting Connecticut public health commissioner.
Right now, 211 can only book appointments at the site in East Hartford. This week, the state is adding three more sites.
At the governor's daily news conference, United Way said it's added 75 call center staffers. But it's been flooded with requests.
"We'd had another 30,000 calls," says Lisa Tepper Bates, of United Way. "I would flag that some of those calls, even though they are coming into the scheduling assistance line, are really more general calls."
Lamont says most people 75 and over should be vaccinated in two to three weeks, paving the way for the next group - those over 65 years old.


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