Lamont Vaccine Plan Adds Age Groups, Educators — But Removes Pre-Existing Conditions

Governor Lamont announced today that he is expanding eligibility for the COVID-19 vaccine, based almost entirely on age.

Here are the age groups, and the date on which they can schedule an appointment:

  • Ages 55 to 64: March 1
  • Ages 45 to 54: March 22
  • Ages 35 to 44: April 12
  • Ages 16 to 34: May 3.

In addition, preK to grade 12 teachers and staff, and professional childcare providers, can receive the vaccine in March, at clinics set up especially for them.

Lamont said that this was the least complex and confusing scenario for vaccination, and one that would not exacerbate inequities in distribution. He said he is working with the state Department of Public Health to ensure that vaccines will go to people in the highest-risk communities.

Healthcare providers and medical first responders were included in the first group of recipients, followed by those 75 and over, and then 65 and over.

Not included in the rollout: people who underlying medical conditions, and those considered “essential workers” in other states, like transportation, grocery and agricultural workers.

Lamont’s decision drew a quick response from one “06880” reader. He says:

As a 33-year-old living with type 1 diabetes, I feel left out to dry after multiple reassurances from the governor about vaccination efforts for people with pre- existing conditions.

My timeline is in May, with the largest and youngest bracket. People need to ask why people with pre-existing conditions (who are at the most risk) are being delayed for arbitrary age brackets. Did the governor and his team just assume that most of these conditions will be “mostly” covered in the elderly age brackets?

People living with these conditions have put their lives on hold. Some of us were just told our lives don’t matter because of age.

For more information on Connecticut’s COVID vaccination plan — including how to schedule an appointment — click here.

 

8 responses to “Lamont Vaccine Plan Adds Age Groups, Educators — But Removes Pre-Existing Conditions

  1. In response to the 33 year old diabetic, many of us might not like his decision. But if you watched his new conference, he explained very clearly several times why they choose this technique of distributing the vaccine. It was done with much deliberations, and in my opinion their reasoning was sound. They made no assumptions about these conditions being “mostly” covered in the elderly age bracket. They focus on getting the most people vaccinated in the shortest time. Because of this, they were able to move up the estimated date to complete all age groups. So some us might not agree with this, but it was not done casually without any thought. They also gave priority to the teachers and staff to get the children back in school – a great idea in my opinion, and should have been done sooner.

    • “When we prioritize this population, 65 and above, and on Monday 55 and above, we are taking care of the predominant groups that have comorbidities,” Lamont said during a roundtable discussion on Wednesday.

      Well looks like I was right Bill

  2. In my opinion teachers should have been in school teaching this whole time !
    Gfa has been open 5 days a week and they test often all staff and students.. there’s been practically zero covid.
    No reason for schools to be closed..
    I disagree with Gov Lamont’s vaccine policy. People with pre existing conditions should be vaccinated first as should grocery store employees dealing with hundreds of people a day and banks, any frontline jobs which puts an employee in touch with hundreds !
    Teachers are not seeing different masses every day..
    they see the same students !
    It’s entirely different !
    If our grocery stores close we can’t eat and we die..
    they should be well ahead of teachers in My opinion !
    I’m in the 45-54 age bracket.. March 22 I can book an appointment..
    I’ll be sure to check back in as to when I eventually get an appointment ! I’m guessing sometime in the summer !
    But let’s just see.

  3. Lamont’s handling of vaccination priorities has been extremely successful. Given the same doses of vaccine per capita as other states, we have consistently ranked among the top states in terms of percentage of population vaccinated. (We did get some extra doses at one point because we had been so successful, but not enough to skew the percentages.)

    Combined with the fact that from the start he prioritized those most at risk for hospitalization and death, his decisions saved many lives and avoided the chaos we’ve seen in many other states.

    I encourage everyone to watch the the first few minutes of his 2/22/2021 press conference (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=lf38VCQ_fuk&feature=youtu.be) for an explanation of the decision to go with a simple age-based criteria and NOT prioritize those with comorbidities, “food workers”, or others.

    If you can’t watch that, consider: is a 22-year-old gas station worker who also sells donuts and coffee a “food worker”? Is someone who quit smoking 20 years ago a “smoker”? Someone who quit 2 years ago? Someone who quit last week? Someone who started smoking ten years ago? Two years ago? Last week? How do you verify any of that? Take their word for it? Get a doctor’s note? What about people who don’t have a doctor? Age-based eligibility is simple, verifiable, and efficient.

    So far as I can tell, NOBODY has gone hungry because food workers have not been vaccinated. But many students have not been taught in-person (received the most effective teaching) because teachers have to be quarantined after an exposure because they have not been vaccinated.

    Ciara Webster’s argument that teachers see only the same students every day whereas grocery store clerks and bank workers see hundreds of people per day is partially true but irrelevant. It’s only partially true because some teachers (high school teachers and art/music/PE and other specialty teachers) are exposed to hundreds of students per day, and it’s irrelevant because a grocery worker exposed for a couple of minutes to 50 people is not as at as high a risk as a teacher exposed for 50 minutes to a couple dozen students (because brief exposures don’t result in infection).

    Ciara’s guess that although she’ll be able to book an appointment on March 22 but will need to wait months to get an appointment doesn’t seem to be based on experience in Connecticut. Perhaps it’s based on news reports from other states where that’s what happened because they opened up appointments for broad population groups. Connecticut’s approach of opening up appointments to smaller groups one at a time has not resulted in similar situations. Currently the typical wait time for an appointment for those 65 and older is a few days. Of course that will go up next Monday when all of those 55 and older can sign up, but recent experience shows that the 45+ group that Ciarra is in should be vaccinated by some time in April. In the last two and a half weeks, 37% of the 65+ group have been vaccinated, which is about half of those who want to be vaccinated, which means that the governor’s projection that it would take about a month to vaccinate the 65+ group was reasonably close; it may be five weeks.

  4. This may surprise everybody who knows me, but I have positive things to say about the vaccine rollout in CT. The eligible members of my extended family were all able to get vaccinated within 2 weeks of going online to look for an appointment.

    Yes, the websites are flawed — compared with those in non-healthcare commerce — and yes, some patient trial and error is required.

    But, once at a vaccination center — we experienced 3 of them, managed by different organizations — we found them all to be well-run and well-staffed with friendly professionals and volunteers. Minimal waiting. I only wish every doctor’s office were so efficient!

    I am the first to complain about the medical oligopolies and the huge compensation lavished on senior executives and certain specialists — as well as the complicity of some of these people in the opioid scandal that’s killed even more Americans than Covid.

    In this case, however. Big Pharma and Big Hospital came through for us, even the state bureaucrats did their jobs right, and for that I am very thankful.

  5. Agree with a lot of what has been said by other commenters- CT actually doing a darn good job with this. Also, for younger people with co-morbidities, its my understanding that you can get vaccinated now (before your age group) in one of 2 ways: a doctor can write you a prescription (I know that can be done in NY, not sure for CT) OR you can go to a site at the end of the day and “go standby” for excess vaccine doses that they want to use up but have no appointments for. I know several people who’ve gotten it that way. Overall, the age-based groups, moving quickly and efficiently, is the fairest and fastest way. We can see the light at the end of the tunnel….

  6. I disagree ! There is no reason for older people who are retired to even get the vaccine now. They can continue to shelter at home.
    They have no important reason to go out so if it were me I’d have put them to very last on the list.
    Gfa just did a post mini spring break test and out of almost 1000 people faculty and staff 2 had covid.
    Oh and it was siblings so basically that’s nobody out of 1000 people.. this tells me that teachers have no Excuse but get back to school ! .
    As for persons at risk.. it goes without saying they should have been vaccinated first ! No contest !
    And no ! Supermarkets have stayed open because their employers or unions are not as strong as teachers unions.. possibly they will get fired if they don’t show up to work but in no way shape or form can we try to say their job is less important than a teachers..
    I’d argue that we can do without teachers for a spell way faster than we can the essential workers who keep our lives going..
    grocery store workers are subjected to not hundreds but thousands of different ppl a day ! Teachers to virtually none!
    It’s a disgrace they aren’t top of the list !
    Teachers should wait they don’t deserve the vaccination before anybody else !

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