Lamont urges patience as those aged 65 and older get vaccine
Connecticut Gov. Ned Lamont urged residents 65 years and older to be patient about getting vaccination appointments, which officially opened up on Thursday, noting the state expects to receive about 69,000 doses next week from the federal government.
There are about 300,000 people in that age cohort who haven’t been vaccinated yet.
“So this is going to take a little more patience,” Lamont said. “But I’d like to think those number of vaccines could ramp up in a couple of weeks.”
As of Thursday, 61% of the state’s population that’s 75 years and older had been vaccinated compared to 13% of those age 65 to 74. Connecticut remains in the top four states for vaccine distribution, he said.
Lamont said he expects it will take at least a few weeks to vaccinate this latest stage of the phase 1B, depending on the state’s vaccine supply. Afterward, certain essential workers and individuals ages 16 to 64 with underlying health conditions are expected to be allowed to sign up for appointments. Lamont said he expects doctors will reach out to those patients they believe are “high risk” and prioritize them for shots. The details are still being finalized.
In other coronavirus-related news in Connecticut:
BY THE NUMBERS
As of Thursday, 155 of the state’s 169 cities and towns remained in the state’s red alert zone for COVID-19 infections, the highest of Connecticut’s four alert levels. That means positive case rates in those communities over the last two weeks was greater than 15 per a population of 100,000.
Barkhamsted, Deep River, Kent, Redding, and Salisbury are all listed as orange, the second highest alert level. Meanwhile, Bridgewater, Canaan, Cornwall, Hartland, Lyme, Norfolk, Scotland, Union, and Warren are all in the gray alert level, the lowest.
State data released Thursday shows there were more than 1,000 new confirmed and probable COVID-19 cases since Wednesday. The number of hospitalizations decreased by 39 to 731, while the number of COVID-associated deaths increased by 28 to 7,354.
The Department of Correction is halfway finished with vaccinating correctional officers and about halfway through with vaccinating inmates who are 65 years and older, said Josh Geballe, Lamont’s chief operating officer.
Geballe said compliance among the older inmates has been impressive.
“Of the first 204 incarcerated persons who are 65 and above who’ve been offered vaccine, 200 of them have accepted,” he said. “A 98% acceptance rate, which is really fantastic news.”