People over the age of 75 can start making appointments to get the coronavirus vaccine as early as this week as the state gets ready to move into phase 1b of vaccine distribution.
Starting Monday, providers will be able to fill vaccination appointments for those over the age of 75, according to Governor Ned Lamont.
The governor said that starting Thursday, advance registration will open for people 75 and over.
State officials emphasized that resources to schedule appointments to get the COVID-19 vaccine will be easily accessible within the coming days.
Medical provider outreach to existing patients, online registration through VAMS, and phone support for booking appointments will become available for those who are 75 and up starting Thursday.
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Appointments will be first-come first-serve.
Those who are 75 and older with appointments to get the vaccine will be able to get the first dose starting next Monday, Jan. 18.
"You won't get a vaccine if you just show up without an appointment," Chief Operating Officer Josh Geballe said.
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Other people who fall under phase 1b vaccination will be phased into distribution in the coming weeks. This includes people with health care risks and frontline essential workers, the governor said during a news conference on Monday.
“There’s only so many vaccines but we are doing everything we can," Lamont said.
When asked about adding additional vulnerable groups to phase 1b, the governor said he doesn't plan to do so.
"Adding more groups just means other people get pushed to the back of the line. If everybody is a priority, then nobody is a priority," Lamont said.
The governor says he is following the lead of the CDC. He hopes to make it easy for people to access vaccination services by going to underserved populations.
Lamont said 60% of COVID deaths are people 60 and over and they account for about 5 percent of the state's population.
Those who are qualified to administer vaccines can sign up here.
New COVID-19 Numbers
There are 92 more COVID-19 deaths as the state sees a spike in cases after the Christmas holiday.
Of over 116,000 tests performed, 7,364 came back positive, which yielded a positivity rate of 6.33% over the past few days.
There are now 213,358 cumulative coronavirus cases in Connecticut.
Since Friday, 33 more hospitalizations were reported, bringing the state's total to 1,142.
The state's death toll now stands at 6,416.
As of Friday, the state's COVID-19 test positivity rate was at 8.46%.
Over 140,000 vaccines have now been distributed to Connecticut residents in phase 1a, according to Lamont.
About 133,200 of those vaccines were first doses and just shy of 8,000 were second doses.
Connecticut is number five nationally when it comes to the percentage of the population vaccinated.
The governor said that all individuals under phase 1a who have not yet been vaccinated should schedule their appointment this week.
For more information on vaccine distribution, click here.