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State leaders push those unvaccinated to roll up their sleeves

The state is also focusing its message on younger populations between 12 and 34 that account for the lowest vaccination rates.

NEW HAVEN, Conn. — NEW HAVEN, Conn. — As health officials in Connecticut keep a close eye on the highly-contagious COVID-19 delta variant, state leaders are doubling down on their calls for unvaccinated people to roll up their sleeves.

Governor Ned Lamont joined representatives from various communities across the state at the Griffin Health walk-up clinic on the New Haven Green Monday morning to encourage people get their shots.

“I do know if people get vaccinated, that’s the best protection we’ve got,” said Gov. Lamont.

"I am urging our communities of color, as a woman of color, I am asking and I am going to ring the alarm like Beyonce says and encourage communities of color to step up,” said New Haven Director of Public Health Maritza Bond. “I get that you have mistrust but I want to make sure you are not misinformed."

The push comes as health officials said the delta variant now accounts for a vast majority of new COVID-19 cases in Connecticut, and its unvaccinated people who are paying the price.

“The people who have not been vaccinated are the people who are going to the hospital, who are getting sick and who are dying,” said Lt. Gov. Susan Bysiewicz.

The state is also focusing their message on younger populations between 12 and 34 that account for the lowest vaccination rates.

More specifically, the age groups with the lowest first dose coverage are 12- to 15-year-olds with 51 percent and 18- to 24-year-olds with 60 percent.

“If that population was vaccinated, Connecticut would be over 80 percent,” said Heather Aaron, Deputy Commissioner at CT Department of Public Health.

RELATED: Fauci says US headed in 'wrong direction' on coronavirus

Representatives from the youth sports community were also on hand to make a pitch to eligible student athletes.

“We deal with a lot of kids. They can take it home to their grandparents, their parents, uncles and aunts, and family members,” said Reggie Lytle, New Haven Pop Warner League president.

When asked whether the Connecticut Interscholastic Athletic Conference is considering a vaccine requirement for student athletes, Executive Director Glenn Lungarini said, “At this point we’re just having conversations about what we can do to encourage kids to get vaccinated and are confident in their response.”

RELATED: CIAC, CT DPH encourage student-athletes to get COVID-19 vaccine ahead of school year


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