Less than 24 hours after his announcement to move to an age-based vaccine rollout plan, Governor Ned Lamont faced more questions Tuesday about why the original plan was too complex.
During a news conference in Hartford Tuesday, Lamont explained he made the decision to modify the plan over the weekend. His stance is that the list of essential workers, presented by the CDC, was simply too expansive.
“That broad list would’ve incorporated over a third of the population of the state of Connecticut,” Lamont said.
The governor explained the same could be said for those with comorbidities. So, instead of prioritizing these groups in the next vaccine phase, it will now be broken out by age bracket.
Starting March 1, people age 55 to 64 are eligible. People 45 and older become eligible March 22, with those 35 and older eligible three weeks after that. Finally, ages 16 to 34 become eligible May 3.
There has been a mixed reaction to the governor’s new vaccine roll-out plan. There has been empathy for those with comorbidities and frontline essential workers but also an understanding of the governor’s explanation.
“It’s a difficult decision to make when you’re trying to save so many people,” said Doug Long of Hartford.
Age is the determining factor, not job function or health need, which some don’t agree with.
“If they have more (health) difficulties then I believe that they should be first in line,” said Carla Lopez of Wallingford.
In addition to the age brackets, dedicated clinics will be set up in March to vaccinate teachers, school staff and child care providers. This, and the age bracket system, are something one woman we spoke to agrees with.
“The sooner the better,” said a woman who would only say her name was T.T. “Too many people are dying of the coronavirus.”
While those 65 and older are currently eligible, many more people will be seeking appointments come Monday.
“I hope everything pans out,” said Long. “So, we don’t lose any more lives.”
Looking ahead, the governor says if the vaccination supply keeps coming the way he anticipates, he expects by April most of the state’s population will have had an opportunity to get the first shot of the vaccine.