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Connecticut preparing for another mass vaccination effort on anticipated booster shot announcement

After declining to implement a vaccine passport system Gov. Ned Lamont now says the state is working to stand up a centralized digital system to track vaccinations.

HARTFORD, Conn. — The Biden administration could make an announcement regarding booster shots for the general population before the end of the week. 

It comes just days after the FDA and CDC recommended COVID vaccine booster shots for people with weak immune systems. That’s less than 3% of the population. Now, states are preparing for another mass vaccination effort. 

"I’m doing anything I can to get people vaccinated," said Gov. Ned Lamont on Tuesday.

The Biden administration now seems poised to recommend boosters for most Americans who received a two-dose Pfizer or Moderna vaccine at least eight months after their original vaccination. 

"My hunch if I had to guess. They are going to give us a green light for folks in nursing homes first," said Lamont.

Tim Brown, the spokesperson for Athena Healthcare said, "We're excited. We think this is great news for nursing homes and that they would be prioritized as they were the last time. 01:34 As soon as we receive guidance from the state we will implement a plan to get our residents vaccinated."

Re-vaccinating the general population will look different than six months ago. We now have the supply to meet demand and there may not be a need to reopen mass vaccination sites. 

RELATED: A look at how Hartford schools are returning to classrooms for second year amid COVID-19 pandemic

"My instinct is that with our pharmacy partners and medical providers that may be all we need," said Lamont.

In fact, now the issue becomes how much vaccine supply is too much? 80% of shots have gone to wealthy nations while third-world countries clamor for access. The World Health Organization is asking the U.S. to send our booster shots overseas where new COVID variants could potentially emerge. 

Lamont added, "The supply of vaccine. We are ramping that up in a deliberate way to make sure the rest of the world is not left behind."

As we talk boosters, let’s remember 35% of Connecticut residents still haven’t gotten one shot. Will Lamont adopt President Biden’s suggestion of a $100 incentive? 

RELATED: Connecticut's COVID-19 positivity rate at its highest since April

"I sure prefer incentives to mandates. I've been doing incentives for the last three months. Here’s a drink, here’s a rock concert. Hartford gives you $100. I think we’re pushing on a string a little bit."

With some residents soon to have three doses, it’s getting more complicated to keep track. Who has had three shots vs. two and one or none? 

After declining to implement a vaccine passport system Gov. Lamont now says the state is working to stand up a centralized digital system to track vaccinations.

"Yep. We are working on that. We have a central depository. I don’t have the information but we have a good idea of who has been vaccinated and who hasn’t," said Gov. Lamont. "We're trying to make that process a little cleaner without intruding on anyone’s privacy. Give us a week on that."

People who got the Johnson & Johnson shot will still have to wait a little longer for information on if they will need a booster shot.



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