The state of Connecticut will expand phase 1b of the coronavirus vaccine plan in the coming weeks to include people who are 65 and over as well as residents who have underlying health conditions that put them at greater risk of the virus.
Gov. Ned Lamont issued a news release on Thursday afternoon, saying he has directed the Connecticut Department of Public Health to begin the phase by prioritizing the vaccine for persons over the age of 75 in the first wave and that he will accept the recommendations of the Allocation Subcommittee of the Governor’s COVID-19 Vaccine Advisory Group to expand phase 1b in the coming weeks.
That will include residents between 65 and 74, a group that is estimated to be around 353,000 individuals; and residents between the ages of 16 and 64 who have underlying health conditions that put them at greater risk of the virus. The governor said that group includes around 362,000 individuals.
Phase 1b currently includes residents who are 75 and older, which is approximately 277,000 individuals; residents and staff of congregate settings, which includes around 50,000 individuals; and frontline essential workers, which is approximately 325,000 individuals.
Lamont said he has directed the Connecticut Department of Public Health to begin the phase by prioritizing the vaccine for people over the age of 75 in the first wave.
As supply increases and a significant portion of individuals over 75 have received the vaccine, phase 1b will open up to include more of the eligible populations with a focus on addressing issues of equity and risk of poor outcomes from COVID-19.
Lamont said it is estimated that 1.3 million Connecticut residents are eligible for phase 1b.
Scheduling Soon (no timeframe available as of Jan. 14)
- Front line essential workers
- Individuals and staff in congregate settings
- Individuals between the ages of 65 and 74
- Individuals between the ages of 16 and 64 with comorbidities
The state anticipates receiving about 46,000 first doses of the vaccine per week from the federal government.
All eligible residents are required to make an appointment in advance of receiving the vaccine.
How to Register for a COVID-19 Vaccine
Beginning today, individuals over the age of 75 can make appointments utilizing the following tools:
Healthcare Provider: Many residents have already been or will be contacted to schedule an appointment by their healthcare provider if their provider is participating in the state’s vaccine program. Not all providers are administering the vaccine. A list of participating providers is available at ct.gov/covidvaccine. Residents are urged not to contact their physician or healthcare provider directly for COVID vaccine appointments.
Online: A form can be accessed online at ct.gov/covidvaccine that allows individuals to schedule an appointment through the web-based Vaccine Administration Management System (VAMS).
Telephone: Those without internet access can call Connecticut’s COVID Vaccine Appointment Assistance Line at 877-918-2224. The phone system was created in partnership with the Department of Public Health and United Way of Connecticut and is specifically targeted to provide support for eligible vaccine recipients who have limited technology access, or who have language, disability, or other barriers that could prevent them from using existing self-scheduling options successfully. The line will take calls on Mondays through Fridays from 8:00 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. and will offer a call-back option when all contact specialists are busy serving other callers. The team will aim to return calls as soon as possible, with the goal of same-day response.
Individuals in Phase 1b but under the age of 75 cannot schedule appointments as of Jan. 14.
The governor said more details on phase 1b eligibility will be forthcoming and will include guidance for employers, employees, self-employed, and other individuals on when and how to schedule vaccine appointments and where vaccinations will be available.
Providers may fill appointments with other eligible phase 1b populations if spots are available.
More than 160,000 people in Connecticut have received the vaccine during phase 1a, which began Dec. 14.