Governor Lamont Announces Connecticut Will Continue Age-Based Approach To COVID-19 Vaccine Eligibility; Educators and Childcare Providers To Have Dedicated Clinics in March
Governor Directs Department of Public Health and Vaccine Providers to Prioritize High-Risk Communities
(HARTFORD, CT) – In an effort to ensure that Connecticut continues taking the most equitable and efficient approach to quickly administering the COVID-19 vaccine to as many people as possible, Governor Ned Lamont today announced that the state will continue with an age-based approach to expanding eligibility to the vaccine, explaining that other previously considered scenarios proved overly complex and confusing, would potentially exacerbate inequities in vaccine distribution, and slow down the process of providing it to Connecticut residents.
Age is one of the strongest factors contributing to COVID-19 deaths, with 96 percent of COVID-19 deaths in Connecticut occurring in people over the age of 55.
To provide clarity and predictability, the governor has announced a schedule for age-based eligibility for the next several months. By laying out a clear timeline for eligibility for the vaccine, the strategy allows everyone in the state, including essential workers and those with chronic conditions, to know when they will be able to schedule an appointment. The planned schedule is as follows:
- March 1, 2021: Expands to age group 55 to 64
- March 22, 2021: Expands to age group 45 to 54
- April 12, 2021: Expands to age group 35 to 44
- May 3, 2021: Expands to age group 16 to 34
To further ensure equitable allocation of the vaccine, Governor Lamont also announced that he is directing the Connecticut Department of Public Health to set numerical targets and work with vaccine providers to ensure that vaccines are administered to people living in the highest-risk communities in proportion to their population. These targets and the associated strategies will be announced in the coming days.
In addition to the age-based eligibility, preK-12 school staff and teachers, and professional childcare providers will be eligible to receive the vaccine in March at dedicated clinics that will be set up specifically for those sectors. Educators and childcare professionals will soon receive information from their school administrators and employers on when their dedicated clinics will be provided.
Connecticut has been using a phased approach to its COVID-19 vaccine program because of the very limited supply of the vaccine that it has been receiving from the federal government. The program initially began in December with healthcare providers and medical first responders, and then expanded in January to include all individuals over the age of 75 and certain congregate settings, followed by those over the age of 65 in mid-February. All previously eligible individuals and settings will continue to be eligible after March 1.
All eligible individuals in Connecticut are required to make an appointment in advance of receiving the vaccine. Residents aged 55 to 64 should not attempt to make an appointment now – they will not be able to schedule one until the program expands to their age group on March 1.
To locate vaccination clinics, individuals should visit ct.gov/covidvaccine and enter their zip code. From there, users will be shown the nearest available clinics and provided with specific directions on how to make an appointment at each one, including over the internet and over the telephone.
Those who do not have access to the internet can call Connecticut’s Vaccine Appointment Assist Line at 877-918-2224. The line is open seven days a week from 8:00 a.m. to 8:00 p.m.