Signing up for an appointment to get a COVID-19 vaccine has begun for Connecticut residents aged 75 and above. With the start has come a multitude of questions that authorities are trying to keep up with–most notably, “How to sign up?”
The crush of questions foretells a phase that will only get more pressured, as 1.5 million people who are included in Phase 1.b. will need to go through the appointment process in order to be vaccinated.
First Selectwoman Lynne Vanderslice reflected that stress in her nightly update to residents, which, in addition to providing tips about getting an appointment, was titled, “Patience Required.”
She showed the math involved in reminding residents just how long it may take for people in the cohort to get the vaccine.
“Connecticut has been receiving 44,000 first doses per week. Next week, Connecticut will receive an extra 50,000 doses and then return to 44,000 per week. There are 275,000 CT residents aged 75 or above. You can do the math. Depending on the number that choose to be vaccinated, first doses for those aged 75 and up may require four or more weeks. The remaining groups in Phase 1.b. exceed 1 million residents,” she said, adding, “Phase 1.b. will be long in duration.”
While the state has set residents 75-and-up as the first Phase 1.b. group to receive the vaccine, Gov. Ned Lamont will officially confirm on Thursday which other groups will also be included in Phase 1.b., and how the state will stagger administering the vaccine to all of them.
In addition to groups already announced, including frontline workers, teachers and residents of congregate housing, it’s expected that Lamont will follow the recommendation of his Vaccine Allocation Subcommittee and add residents aged 65-75 and residents age 16-64 with certain high-risk medical conditions to Phase 1.b. as well.
“Those at greater risk of death will be prioritized. Residents aged 75 and up are being prioritized because approximately 70% of COVID-19 deaths have occurred in that age group,” Vanderslice explained, pointing to Wednesday’s report of 87 deaths in one day–the highest number of single-day deaths since May–as a “stark reminder.”
So far, signing up is being managed solely online–a challenge for many older, less tech-savvy residents in the first Phase 1.b. groups.
On Thursday, the state will release a phone number that residents can call to make appointments also.
Vanderslice included several tips to help residents with the appointment-making registration process:
- Residents must have an email to register online.
- Residents can’t register themselves and a spouse/partner/friend using the same email address. Each individual must have a unique email address.
- If an email address is rejected, try entering in lower case.
- For anyone without an email address or who is uncomfortable registering online, use the registration phone number that will be released Thursday.
- If an out-of-state relative aged 75-and-up is living with family in CT during the pandemic, they can register for the vaccine in CT.
- Once the registration application is submitted, it will be reviewed to determine if the applicant is a member of a group currently approved for vaccines within CT.
- If approved, applicants will receive two emails: one from the CT Department of Public Health indicating the information has been uploaded into the VAMS system and a second email to guide applicants through the scheduling process.
- Once applicants are fully registered they may schedule an appointment through the VAMS system. Applicants may receive a notice that it could require up to two weeks to be fully registered; however, registrations have been occurring much more quickly than two weeks.
- If a registration application is denied, an email from CT DPH will explain or request additional information.
Anyone with questions about the registration process can contact either Director of Social Services Sarah Heath, Social Services/Senior Center Coordinator Stephanie Rowe, or Vanderslice’s assistant Jackie Rochester. Vanderslice requested that residents do not contact the Wilton Health Department.
Vaccine and Case Data
As of Thursday morning, the CDC reported that Connecticut has received 315,025 doses of vaccines and 161,875 initial doses have been administered–something that Lamont says is the highest percentage of any state except West Virginia.
Nationwide, 29.4 million vaccines had been delivered and 10.3 million first doses have been administered.
Wednesday’s case numbers for Wilton reported six new cases, bringing the to-date total to 691.
Vanderslice said that the newly-known cases range in age from 5-76.
The following charts show the distribution of known cases by age and time period for the previous periods and the current 7-day period.