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Conn. To Include Incarcerated In Next Vaccination Phase

Covid-19 prisoner protection protest
Chris Ehrmann
Advocates have rallied for Coronavirus protections for people behind bars, who face challenges with social distancing.

The Connecticut COVID-19 vaccination advisory panel has recommended that prisoners and other people who live or work in congregate settings be added to the state’s priority list for the vaccine. Officials anticipate that the state would begin its phase 1-B rollout of the inoculations next week.

The advisory panel expects that 275,000 people who are 75 and older, and about 531,000 frontline workers would be eligible for the phase 1-B rollout, which should last about nine to 10 weeks, depending on an adequate supply of vaccines.

Nichelle Mullins, co-chair of the advisory panel, said the panel needs to work to expand the priority list to include more vulnerable African American and Latinx communities.

“Where we have wide consensus is on the essential workers in phase 1-B and the congregate settings. The other areas we do not have a clear direction or recommendation,” Mullins said the panel will meet again in the next few days to agree on further recommendations.

The state has already administered 213,000 doses of vaccine in phase 1-A of the rollout. There were about 321,000 people eligible for that first phase.

As WSHU Public Radio’s award-winning senior political reporter, Ebong Udoma draws on his extensive tenure to delve deep into state politics during a major election year.