At his Monday press conference, Gov. Ned Lamont said that the state will begin accepting appointments to administer COVID-19 vaccines to people age 65-and-over, beginning this Thursday, Feb. 11.

In addition, vaccine providers are now permitted to administer vaccines to residents over 65 years old in order to fill any available appointment slots.

“I want to make sure that there are no vaccines left behind, and that every vaccine is a shot in the arm,” Lamont said. “Providers that have an extra vaccine at the end of the day, they’ll be available right now for people over the age of 65.

Lamont said that there are 350,000 residents in the state in the 65-74 age group. He said he believes the state will be able to vaccinate this group more quickly than anticipated as “many of them have been vaccinated already,” whether in nursing homes or elsewhere.

In fact, GMW has heard multiple anecdotal reports of individuals aged 65-74 making appointments either online or through the state’s Vaccine Appointment Assist Line.

The governor emphasized how important vaccinating this group is, noting that while people over 65 comprise only 18% of the population, they account for 88% of the state’s COVID-19 fatalities and half the hospitalizations.

But Lamont is also aiming to ensure equity by vaccinating other groups he called “more socially vulnerable.”

“Those in congested communities, multi-generational housing, often people of color–a big priority for us, to make sure they get vaccinated, keep them safe, their communities safe,” Lamont said.

The state will increase its allocation of vaccine doses to locations that serve those priority populations. Lamont said the DPH is undertaking efforts to work with all 169 towns to best identify eligible people.

“We’re talking a GOTV operation, not ‘Get Out The Vote,’ but ‘Get Out The Vaccine,” he quipped.

The only problems Lamont foresees stem from the limited supply of vaccine doses that are arriving in the state. He added he expects it will take one month to vaccinate all the residents over age 65.

For this week Lamont expects to receive 58,000 doses, plus an additional 11,000 doses that will be delivered directly to pharmacies that are administering vaccines in rural and socially vulnerable communities. There will also be additional second-dose vaccines arriving in CT.

All eligible residents are required to make an appointment. (A zip code or map search of vaccine providers can be performed online. In her nightly COVID-19 update, First Selectwoman Lynne Vanderslice listed ways to make appointments.

  • VAMS online system: VAMS is the Vaccine Administration Management System and can be used to schedule appointments at multiple clinics.
  • Call Connecticut’s COVID-19 Vaccine Appointment Assist Line:  Call 877.918.2224.  The assist line is open from 8 a.m.-8 p.m., seven days a week.
  • Hartford HealthCare.
  • Yale New Haven Health
  • Stamford Health
  • Walgreens: Walgreens is currently offering the vaccine at 12 different locations and will soon be adding many more across the state. Appointments can be made online.
  • CVS: CVS is currently offering the vaccine in four locations and will be expanding to 12 more locations in the next week. Appointments can be made online.
  • Walmart: Walmart will be offering the vaccine at seven locations across the state, including Norwalk. Appointments can be made online.

The Governor reported 56% of residents aged 75 and up have received at least one dose. In total, 517,081 vaccines have been administered, 387,174 first doses and 129,907 second doses.

Wilton Case Rate Drops

Over the weekend, the CT Department of Public Health reported 16 new cases for Wilton, bringing the total number since the start of the pandemic to 868 cases. The test positivity rate is currently 4.1%.

Wilton’s rolling two-week average daily case rate has dropped, reflecting the time that has passed since two COVID-19 outbreaks caused the number to skyrocket. Town health officials are cautious as they look toward the extended school break next week, expecting the likelihood of people traveling or taking part in other gatherings as a potential risk for another surge.