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Medical high-risk, essential workers and people of color in CT feeling left behind on the vaccine rollout

Under the current age-based plan, the Governor says by April about 90% of Connecticut will have access to sign up for their first dose of the vaccine.

NEW HAVEN, Conn — There is never a perfect answer when it comes to the rollout of the COVID-19 vaccine. While Connecticut is one of the top vaccinators in the nation, some communities feel like they are being left behind.  

"These two groups are just really essential pieces to the puzzle that should not be left out," said Shanan Haislip. 

Haislip is referring to medically high-risk individuals and essential workers.  She herself has spent the last year almost exclusively in isolation after a breast cancer diagnosis. 

"People in my position are experiencing extreme anxiety about going out in public, meeting all of our obligations and our doctor's appointments," said Haislip. 

Haislip would fall into the last group of people to be vaccinated under the state’s age-based vaccination plan. The governor says he choose the plan since other scenarios proved overly complex and would potentially increase vaccine distribution inequities.  

"Once you start making exceptions it gets really complicated and more importantly every three weeks, we continue to open the aperture," said Governor Ned Lamont. 

Even while that aperture opens, communities of color are seeing vaccinations at a lesser rate. A community discussion on the matter hosted by our partner CT en Vivo in partnership with local community organizations tried to break some of the stigmas around the vaccine.  

"The facts are going to be the antidote for these issues," said Jendayi Scott-Miller of the Angel of Edgewood non-profit. 

The panel discussed many of the trust issues that people in the community are feeling. They point to historical mistreatment of African American’s when it comes to vaccines and people finding false information on social media.  

"What people need to understand is no matter the color is that the same vaccine that our Caucasian brothers and sisters are taking is the same vaccine that anyone else or any other American in this country is going to take," said Bernard Macklin of CARE New Haven. 

Under the current age-based plan, the Governor says by April about 90% of Connecticut will have access to sign up for their first dose of the vaccine. There appear to be no plans to change the current plan at the moment.