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COVID-19 Vaccine, Phase 1B: What you need to know

COVID-19 vaccination access registration site and phone center is live for state residents at least 75 years old

HARTFORD, Conn — Connecticut will begin vaccinating some of the general population, but do you qualify, and how can you make an appointment?

Phase 1B vaccinations are set to begin Monday, January 18th. At present, only people older than 75 are eligible. Providers may fill appointments with other eligible phase 1B populations if spots are available.

You can make one through through Vaccine Administration Management System VAMS  https://portal.ct.gov/coronavirus/COVID-19-vaccination---75-and-older  or over the phone 877-918-2224 on weekdays from 8 a.m. to 4:30 p.m.The state will also have a call center where people can call for multilingual support.

Officials say you should not show up at a vaccine site without an appointment.

Those with email addresses and the ability to schedule online appointments are asked to apply through the website; those over the age of 75 without the ability to apply online can call the Connecticut COVID Vaccine Appointment Assist Line at 877-918-2224. 

Family members can also submit information online for their loved ones. Scheduling appointments may take time due to strong demand for the vaccine, officials said, but the state is increasing its effort to enroll providers and staff. The state expects access to appointments will grow rapidly in coming weeks, especially for priority populations.

 All information submitted through VAMS or the assist line will be kept private and will only be used to schedule vaccinations. The link also contains a detailed and extensive list of frequently asked questions about the vaccine, helping to ease any concerns members of the public may have.

Hartford Healthcare has an online portal to make vaccine appointments  or call (860) 972-4993

UConn Health also has a portal or call (860) 679-4400.

Yale-New Haven Hospital is also taking appointments. Head here to learn more.

Many providers can be accessed through the VAMS scheduling system including:

  • Trinity Health of New England (hospitals and other locations)
  • Griffin Hospital
  • Nuvance Health
  • Stamford Hospital
  • Bristol Hospital
  • Local Health Departments
  • Federally Qualified Health Centers

Phase 1B vaccinations are set to begin Monday, January 18th. At present, only people older than 75 are eligible. Providers may fill appointments with other eligible phase 1b populations if spots are available.

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.

Phase 1B may be extended to more age groups. On Jan. 12, the allocation subcommittee recommended that anyone 65 and older be included in phase 1B, as well as all adults with a CDC listed co-morbidity. (See below) A comorbidity is any condition in a person that makes the risks of more serious illness or death higher from an COVID-19 infection.

Are you eligible? https://portal.ct.gov/Coronavirus/COVID-19-Vaccination---Phases

According to the state's site:

Vaccine access with be phased in for the following groups in Phase 1b:  

In the coming weeks, phase 1b will expand to include:

  • Residents between the ages of 65 and 74 (approximately 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 (approximately 362,000 individuals).

This is in addition to those already in phase 1b, including:

  • Residents who are 75 and older (approximately 277,000 individuals);
  • Residents and staff of congregate settings (approximately 50,000 individuals, please see additional info below) 
  • Frontline essential workers (approximately 325,000 individuals, please see additional info below) 

Details on congregate settings:

Congregate settings include individuals and staff in corrections facilities, halfway homes, inpatient mental health facilities, homeless shelters, domestic violence shelters, substances use and residential treatment facilities along with others. More information about congregate settings will be available soon.  

Details on Phase 1b Essential Workers:

Frontline essential workers face work-related exposure to COVID-19 because work-related duties must be performed on-site, in proximity (<6 feet) to the public or to coworkers AND are in one of the following sectors:

  • Healthcare personnel not included in Phase 1a

  • First responders

  • Agricultural workers, including farmworkers

  • Food service and restaurants

  • U.S. Postal Service workers

  • Manufacturing workers

  • Grocery store & pharmacy workers

  • Food banks and meal delivery services for the elderly

  • Education and child-care workers

  • Solid waste and wastewater workers

  • Inspectors working on site in the above locations

  • Frontline public and social services

What are comorbidities?

Strongest and Most Consistent Evidence

  • Cancer
  • Chronic kidney disease
  • COPD
  • Heart conditions, such as heart failure, coronary artery disease, or cardiomyopathies
  • Obesity (BMI> 30 kg/m2)
  • Severe Obesity (BMI ≥ 40 kg/m2)
  • Pregnancy
  • Sickle cell disease
  • Smoking
  • Solid organ transplantation
  • Type 2 diabetes mellitus

Mixed Evidence

  • Asthma
  • Cerebrovascular disease
  • Hypertension
  • Meta Analyses
  • Use of corticosteroids or other immunosuppressive medications

Limited Evidence

  • Bone marrow transplantation
  • HIV
  • Immune deficiencies
  • Inherited metabolic disorders
  • Liver disease
  • Neurologic conditions
  • Other chronic lung diseases
  • Overweight (BMI > 25 kg/m2, but < 30 kg/m2)
  • Pediatrics
  • Thalassemia
  • Type 1 diabetes mellitus

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