CONNECTICUT – Officials announced Monday that Connecticut’s Phase 1B of the coronavirus vaccine launch will begin January 18 for residents over the age of 75. Registration for appointments will start on Thursday.
More than 141,000 vaccine doses have been administered in Connecticut as of Monday and the state ranks fifth nationally for per capita vaccination distribution, according to Governor Ned Lamont. He said more than 42 percent of all vaccine doses Connecticut received were given in the last week.
The news comes as the country continues to see more coronavirus cases and deaths. More than 7,300 new cases and 92 deaths have been recorded since Friday, according to state health officials.
Vaccines are only available by reservation. Officials said medical service providers will contact patients this week to book vaccinations. Josh Gibal, the state’s chief of operations, said reservation details will be announced online and by phone by Thursday as well.
There are more than 100 vaccine sites across the state and officials hope to increase that number. Officials said mobile vaccine clinics would be sent to disadvantaged communities.
Lamont urged people to be patient as the vaccine rollout expanded. He said the country expects a greater supply of vaccine doses after President-elect Joe Biden is sworn in. Biden said he would allow the second doses to be kept in reserve for use immediately. The second doses will come from future shipments.
Officials said frontline health care workers will still be eligible to receive the vaccine, but it will take longer to get an appointment. Lamont urged any healthcare workers who did not receive their first dose to sign up for a pouch now.
The state Coronavirus Vaccine Advisory Committee will meet on Tuesday to discuss the possibility of adding more people to Phase 1B. The group previously discussed adding people facing two or more serious health conditions to the stage.
However, Lamont said he was reluctant to add too many people to stage 1B because it would delay vaccinations for others who are already part of the group.
“I tend to think on a personal basis that both the CDC and our Appropriation Committee are right,” Lamont said.
Lamont asked volunteers who are able to administer vaccines to sign up for State site for help.