CONNECTICUT, USA — The state is now considering expanding access for Phase 1B vaccinations. Next week, Connecticut will begin vaccinating some of the general population but how can you make an appointment, and do you qualify?
What you need to know first is that Phase 1B might be expanding. The full vaccine advisory board still needs to adopt it, but Tuesday 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. 1B vaccinations are set to begin Monday.
Right now, it’s still people 75 and older. This expansion will add hundreds of thousands of people in Phase 1B. Some are concerned that vaccine supply won't be able to keep up with demand.
The recommendation came after the incoming Biden administration indicated it would move second vaccine doses currently sitting on the shelf to the states for use as a first dose. But there’s no guarantee the supply for a second dose will be available or if there's flexibility on when that second dose can be taken. "And I’ve got to tell you, there won’t be room for everybody on day 1 so you are going to have to be patient," remarked Gov. Ned Lamont.
So, how do you set up an appointment? We talked to CT Chief Operating Officer Josh Geballe. You can make one through your healthcare provider, through a website which will be available Thursday, or over the phone. "And if that doesn’t work for anyone, we will also have a call center where people can call for multilingual support," said Geballe.
Where do you go to get a vaccine? Mass vaccine sites are one option. "We will have likely by early February about a dozen of these large-scale vaccination sites," said Geballe. Those sites will be stood up at Rentschler Field, the Convention Center, Hartford Hospital and Griffin Hospital just to name a few.
The state will also be going into underserved communities via mobile vaccine vans. Rev. Boise Kimber represents 80 Connecticut churches and told FOX61 parking lots will be turned into clinics where vaccines can be administered, and issues of hesitancy can be addressed directly. "We want to get back to normal so if this vaccine is going to help as they have said then I’m employing up on people to let’s go ahead and get this vaccine," said Kimber.
Soon, there will be more than 100 places to get vaccinated but are we running out of people to staff them? "We're not slowing the process down at all today because we don’t have enough vaccinators. The constraint is the number of doses we are receiving from the federal government but what we are doing is anticipating out weeks in advance that will get more supply and as we open additional sites need additional staff," said Geballe.
If you would like to help you can head to ct.gov/stepupct. We should also mention you’ll also be able to get a COVID vaccine through the retail pharmacies once they complete vaccinating the nursing homes in a few weeks.
Watch more: Coronavirus COVID-19 Updates - Connecticut