Connecticut switches to age-based vaccination plan, adults over 55 eligible for shot beginning next week

HARTFORD, Conn. (WCBS 880) — Beginning next week, anyone in Connecticut over the age of 55 will be eligible for a COVID-19 vaccine, Gov. Ned Lamont announced Monday.

The governor announced the changes during an afternoon press conference in which he said guidance from the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention were not working for the state.

“It's not working in terms of, the lens is too broad, it was too badly ill defined,” Lamont said. “It's leading to a great deal of confusion in other states.”

Lamont noted that he wants to streamline the vaccine process in Connecticut and notes that the state will be moving to a mostly age-based system to make the rollout less complicated.

Beginning on March 1, all residents in the state over the age of 55 will be eligible to receive their vaccine. Then, three weeks later, the state will open eligibility up to everyone over the age of 45, and so on.

“Forty-five and above starting March 22, that's three weeks later, and 35 and above starting April 12, and then more broadly, the rest of the population, 16 and above, starting May 3,” the governor explained.

However, school staff, including teachers, will be prioritized to get vaccinated beginning in March, regardless of age.

“I believe it's that important that we keep our schools open and get them open full-time for our kids,” Lamont said of the vaccine eligibility.

The announcement on teachers came as a report released by the non-profit educational organization RISE, found that 33% of high school students in the nine urban districts in Connecticut are in danger of not progressing to the next grade.

The study looked at high school students who were learning exclusively at home during the pandemic and found that those students were at greater risk of not progressing to the next grade, as compared to those who choose a hybrid model.

Lamont’s announcement also came as President Joe Biden and his administration continued to push for all students to return to in-person learning as soon as possible.

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