Seniors age 75 and older can now sign up to receive a COVID-19 vaccination.
The state on Thursday launched its centralized website for vaccine information, with links to two health systems – UConn Health and Hartford HealthCare – that currently are scheduling appointments for people in that age group.
Patients can sign up through their MyCharts account (those without an account can create one). Residents don’t need to have a relationship with the health systems to sign up.
Due to limited supplies of the vaccine, the state warned, it is expected to take weeks to provide a shot to everyone in that age group. Appointments are required – walk-ins will be turned away.
The state has created a vaccine call center for people who want to schedule appointments by phone or ask questions. The number is 877-918-2224. The line will be open Monday through Friday from 8 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. and offer a call-back option when workers are busy assisting other callers.
UConn Health and Hartford HealthCare have also added phone lines for vaccine inquiries. Residents can reach UConn’s call center at 860-679-8888 and Hartford HealthCare’s help line at 860-972-4993.
Residents can also sign up through the Vaccine Administration Management System (VAMS). A link to that portal can be found on the state’s centralized website: https://portal.ct.gov/coronavirus/COVID-19-vaccination—75-and-older
Patients are asked to use the online system or to call UConn or Hartford HealthCare rather than contacting their primary care physicians.
More locations for vaccine administration are expected to be added to the state’s website.
Gov. Ned Lamont said Thursday that he has accepted recommendations from Connecticut’s vaccine advisory group to expand Phase 1B of the rollout to include about 715,000 more people – those ages 65 to 74 and those 16 to 64 with co-morbidities such as cancer or chronic kidney disease.
That’s in addition to another 652,000 people already approved for Phase 1B that live and work in congregate settings such as prisons and homeless shelters, “essential workers” like grocery store employees and teachers, and those 75 and older.
The state will announce a tiered approach prioritizing each population in that phase, beginning with people 75 and older. Lamont has not said what group will be next in line. State officials estimated they are receiving about 46,000 doses of the vaccine each week to be given out as the initial shot. Two doses of the Pfizer and Moderna vaccine are required.
“The Connecticut Department of Public Health has worked diligently with our health care partners across the state to increase access to the vaccine, but I must continue to urge patience at this point in time,” Lamont said.
“We know many people are excited to receive the vaccine and the promise of the future that comes with it, but we are limited in our ability to distribute them purely based on the amount we receive from the federal government,” he said. “We are hopeful we will see increased allocations in the coming weeks and months.”
This story originally appeared at ctmirror.org, the website of The Connecticut Mirror.