Hundreds of thousands of more people are becoming eligible for the COVID-19 vaccine in Connecticut this week.
Sign up is already underway for those age 65 and over.
“I’ve been waiting anxiously,” said Tia Murphy of Bethel.
Murphy says moments after she found out people age 65 to 74 were becoming eligible for the COVID-19 vaccine she jumped on the state registration website on Monday.
Overall the 67-year-old says she was shocked by what she thought was a simpler system than what others had described.
“I had been talking to so many of my older friends and I kept hearing from them what a challenging and difficult situation it was,” said Murphy.
Many of the 350,000 people in the now eligible age group are scrambling to find shots.
Some we heard from expressed frustrations about calling and not being able to get through quickly to the state’s Vaccine Appointment Assistance Line.
“We’re doing our very best to get to everyone as quickly as we can,” said Lisa Tepper Bates, the United Way of Connecticut president & CEO.
Bates says in just the last 36 hours they have fielded nearly 80,000 calls.
While a couple of weeks ago wait times had dropped to just three minutes, now sometimes people are offered a call back as soon as possible, though that could take up to a week.
“We just hope everyone can be patient as we work together to get people scheduled as quickly as we possibly can,” said Bates.
The United Way recently boosted the number of staff to 125, with plans to double that.
As for Tia Murphy, who is also the volunteer state president for AARP Connecticut, she’s looking forward to life after her shot in a few weeks.
“Big sigh, I’ve got to tell you. I’m so excited about it,” said Murphy.
This week the United Way expanded the assist line availability to twelve hours a day, 8 a.m. to 8 p.m., seven days a week.
They’re booking appointments at 12 locations in the state.