COVID-19 Update, Feb. 8: How CT–and Wilton–is Handling Vaccine Shortages

As of Friday, Feb. 5, the state had given first doses of the COVID-19 vaccine to 358,019 people, or just under 10% of the state’s total population. In addition, 101,238 people have received a second vaccine dose.

Here in Wilton, 1,761 people (9.6%) have received their first dose. Wilton has done a great job providing first vaccination doses to people 75-and-older:  1,055 people in that age group, out of 1,235 total–or 85.4%–have received their first dose.

There have been reported shortages of second-dose appointments across the state. GOOD Morning Wilton reached out to town officials to ask how Wilton will handle second doses, especially as the state begins to open up the ability to schedule first-dose appointments to people age 65-74.

Sarah Gioffre, Wilton’s Coordinator of Community Affairs, has been handling the coordination of the town’s vaccine effort. She explained how things are structured here:

  • Wilton isn’t currently providing second doses. Town officials expect to conduct the first open clinic for second doses this week.
  • Wilton conducts both open and closed clinics. Closed clinics have been restricted to Wilton residents. The town is obligated to provide closed, second-dose clinics for anyone who received their first dose at its closed clinics.
  • The CT Dept. of Public Health is sending second doses for open and closed clinics automatically (based on first doses administered in each clinic). For example, Visiting Nurses administered 200 first doses at the Jan. 23 closed clinic, so CT DPH will automatically send 200 second doses for the planned closed clinic on Feb. 20. Any resident that received their first dose in an open clinic, whether in Wilton or elsewhere, is required to schedule their second dose at any of the available second dose clinics throughout the area.
  • CT DPH is asking vaccine providers (hospitals, local health departments) to accommodate second-dose appointments from people who did not receive their first dose at that provider. CT DPH is also hoping that recent updates to VAMS will address the shortage of second dose appointments (providers are now able to allocate second dose slots).
  • According to CT DPH, the focus remains on access for people over age 75. Looking ahead, people age 65-74 will be next up for eligibility, likely within the next week or so. Officials say no one in that 65-74 age group should be scheduling appointments until it is announced and launched.

Connecticut’s COVID-19 vaccine appointment hotline expands to 12 hours per day, 7 days a week

The CT DPH and the United Way of Connecticut plan to expand availability and access to COVID-19 vaccine scheduling through the state’s vaccine appointment hotline.

Beginning Monday, Feb. 8, the hotline will have expanded hours, from 8 a.m.-8 p.m., seven days per week. A total of 125 trained contact specialists will answer calls and will have the capability of booking up to 10,000 appointments per week at 12 locations across Connecticut.

The phone number to call to schedule a vaccine appointment is 877.918.2224.

Residents can also continue to book appointments online by visiting ct.gov/covidvaccine.

This added capacity will be very important as Connecticut begins to receive larger supplies of vaccine doses on a weekly basis and prepares to expand Phase 1.b. eligibility in the coming weeks to include individuals aged 65-74. Currently, the state’s vaccination program is open to residents who are over the age of 75. As more doses become available, the priority groups will expand during the month of February.

Language assistance is available for anyone who needs it, and residents who are hearing impaired can access the vaccine appointment hotline by dialing 7-1-1.

Wilton Cases

As of Friday, Jan. 4, there were four new COVID-19 cases, bringing Wilton’s total to 852 cases since the start of the pandemic.