Leaders of the Trinity Health System were joined by Sen. Richard Blumenthal on Friday to discuss the timeline for providing COVID-19 vaccinations to frontline health care workers once it is formally approved and said they will be ready to vaccinate when the clearance comes through.
"We're at the cusps of a historic development," Blumenthal said Friday. "There is truly light at the end of the tunnel," he added.
He said vaccinations should begin by the middle of next week.
The shipments are ready to go, the senator said.
Hospital officials said they hope to have vaccine clinics across the healthcare network by Monday.
When asked about goals about how much of the community should be vaccinated, Blumenthal said it's thought to be 60 to 80 percent, but the more then better.
Dr. Syed Hussain said 60 to 70 percent of healthcare staff members have said they feel comfortable taking the vaccine and they expect that number to go up.
On Thursday, an advisory panel recommended the Food & Drug Administration approve the Pfizer COVID vaccine.
This morning, the FDA told Pfizer it is working to "rapidly approve" the vaccine. That would begin the rollout of the vaccine within a day or two.
Hospital leaders and Sen. Blumenthal discussed that rollout at Saint Francis Hospital in Hartford and said the vaccine will be rolled out in phases, with the first vaccines going to healthcare workers and people living in long-term facilities.
They said they will be ready to vaccinate as soon as clearance comes through, but people will need to remain vigilant and continue to wear masks, maintain physical distancing and practice good hygiene, including hand washing.