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Who qualifies for a COVID-19 vaccine? State task force says it's not sure

Gov. Ned Lamont's state task force says it doesn't exactly know who will get the COVID-19 vaccine first and when they'll get it.

News 12 Staff

Dec 16, 2020, 12:15 AM

Updated 1,281 days ago

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Gov. Ned Lamont's state task force says it doesn't exactly know who will get the COVID-19 vaccine first and when they'll get it.
The first doses of COVID-19 vaccine are now going out to front-line medical workers, but the vaccine group recommending who gets it and when says even it's confused.
The Allocation Subcommittee of Gov. Lamont’s Vaccine Advisory Group met virtually on Tuesday.
"The process of this is about as clear as mud. And what I mean by that is, there is a lot of information that's being shared. But from a community perspective, and people who are not invested in this, it is very unclear who 1A is and how it is being administered," says Tekisha Everette, of Health Equity Solutions.
The state Health Department says only workers who come into direct contact with patients should get the vaccine right now, but there's still a lot of gray area.
"We didn't go through and say, 'This type of job, this type of job, this type of job,' in-out etc., comprehensively" says the state's Department of Health COVID-19 Vaccine Director Benjamin Bechtolsheim.
And what about the next round of vaccinations starting in mid-January? Phase 1B includes "essential workers."
The task force says that could include grocery cashiers, day care workers, teachers, police officers and firefighters.
"These are individuals who really have no option of working from home," says Charter Oak Health CEO Nichelle Mullins.
It's also unclear which "essential workers" get the vaccine first, especially prison guards and inmates.
"I see this as a key vulnerable population. We've seen really the dramatic burdens that, fortunately not in Connecticut, but in other states," says Dr. Albert Ko, of the Yale School of Public Health.
This weekend, the federal government expects to issue guidelines on who qualifies as an "essential worker." But ultimately, the state will decide who gets the vaccine and in what order.


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