HARTFORD, CT (WFSB) – First it was healthcare workers, then frontline workers, and soon people aged 75 and older will be getting their COVID-19 vaccines.
Thursday was the day the latter group could start booking appointments.
The state said while the portal to register is now open to those 75 and older, due to a limited supply of the vaccine, it will take a few weeks to provide it to everyone who is eligible.
- People can register online at hartfordhealthcare.org/vaccines or they can call the vaccine hotline at 860-972-4993. They can also go to mychartplus.org.
- Registration is also available from UConn Health here.
- Patients can also register through the Vaccine Administration Management System, by clicking here.
The governor also announced that in the coming weeks, Phase 1B will expand to include residents between the ages of 65 and 74, and residents between the ages of 16 and 64 who have underlying health conditions that put them at greater risk of the virus.
Channel 3 spoke with a senior on Wednesday who took advantage of a pilot program. She said getting the vaccine gave her hope that the future will be brighter.
"I feel exhilarated. I feel wonderful," said Geri Turner of Hebron. "I'm thrilled that I had the opportunity to participate."
The coronavirus pandemic has had the country hunkering down for almost a year. Many people believe the vaccine is the best hope to get through it.
“They keep telling me that it’s going to be a little sore tomorrow, but we will see tomorrow,” said Luisa Marulanda, an EMT.
If Marulanda is sore, she said she'll deal with it because she wanted the vaccine. She’s an EMT who is exposed to the coronavirus every day.
“There are sometimes when you are concerned, when you go to people’s houses in an enclosed area [and] they are coughing up, sneezing,” Marulanda said.
While frontline workers like EMTs, police, and firefighters wear masks all the time, they are still at risk.
“We have to find a way to get it to our communities as quickly and safely as we can, so we have to create as much access as possible,” said Jeff Flaks, Hartford HealthCare president & CEO.
Hartford HealthCare has nine locations for COVID vaccines, and it plans to have more. The Connecticut Convention Center in Hartford is where it has been doing testing and now vaccines.
The next phase of the rollout is for those 75 years and older, but people must register and make an appointment.
"It's been really thrilling to see our 75 and older [patients prepare for the vaccine] who have been away from family, away from grandkids," said Dr. James Cardon, executive vice president chief clinical integration officer.
CVS is also getting ready to play a major role in distributing the vaccine to the general public in CT. It expects to eventually administer up to 25 million vaccines a month across the country.
The two available vaccines from Pfizer/BioNTech and Moderna require a second dose.
“Do I believe people will miss a dose, I think so, but our hope is still to vaccinate millions of people and there’s a potential for that,” said Keith Grant, nurse practitioner.
While having one dose does offer some protection base on the trials, it’s not the complete vaccine.