CONNECTICUT —The state will adopt a new « tiered approach » to the vaccine rollout, Gov. Ned Lamont announced Tuesday due to a limited supply of the coronavirus vaccine.
The distribution will prioritize the remaining groups in phase 1b based on risk of adverse health outcomes from the virus.
Lamont said he is directing the implementation be done in an « equitable way, » with vaccine distribution points focused in areas where residents and communities have barriers to access and care.
The tiered approach to Phase 1b will proceed as follows:
- Scheduling now: People over the age of 75
- Scheduling next (likely early February): People between the ages of 65 and 74
- Scheduling soon (likely late February or early March): Frontline essential workers and people with underlying medical conditions who have an increased risk for severe illness
The rollout of the vaccine to staff and residents of congregate living settings will be phased in throughout phase 1b.
« We are working to administer the vaccine to as many people as possible, but the greatest barrier continues to be our supply as we are only scheduled to receive about 45,000 doses of the vaccine per week, while 1.4 million people are eligible under phase 1b, »Lamont said. « That is why we are working to roll this out in a way that gets the vaccine to the people who are at greatest risk first.
« The good news is that we are seeing an overwhelming number of people in our state who want to receive the vaccine – and that is a key component of keeping our residents safe from COVID-19, » Lamont added. « In the meantime, our administration will continue doing everything we can to get more doses of the vaccine into Connecticut as quickly as possible. »
Also on Tuesday, the state Department of Public Health sent a communication to all school districts, local health departments, and vaccine providers requesting that anyone who has an appointment for Friday of this week or later cancel these appointments unless they are over the age of 75 or if they were eligible to receive vaccine as part of phase 1a.
Similarly, vaccine providers with clinics scheduled past this Thursday that are not devoted to people 75 and over or eligible in phase 1a are being asked to cancel those clinics. This is being done in order to ensure that Connecticut’s focus on individuals over the age of 75 is maintained, Lamont said in a statement.
« In order to vaccinate our 75 plus residents as quickly as possible so that we can move on to the other groups within 1b, it is critical that we focus on getting shots in the arms of those elderly and most vulnerable residents, said Acting Public Health Commissioner Deidre Gifford.
As of Sunday, approximately 221,000 doses of vaccine have been administered in Connecticut since the start of the vaccine program in the state, including 196,000 first doses. Connecticut has administered 71 percent of the total doses it has received from the federal government, including 92 percent of doses allocated for all health care organizations and local health departments, placing the state in the top five of states for administering the COVID-19 vaccine, according to Lamont.