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Connecticut Vaccine Advisory Panel Recommends Priority Age Be Dropped To 65

Covid-19 Vaccine
Ted S. Warren

Connecticut’s COVID-19 vaccine advisory panel recommends that the next phase of the vaccination rollout be expanded to include people 65 and older. That would add hundreds of thousands of state residents to phase 1-B of the rollout that begins next week.

Only those 75 and older had first been included in the phase 1-B rollout. But Dr. Reginald Eadie, who is co-chair of the vaccine advisory panel, said the expanded numbers would provide more equity. He said they have also added people in congregate settings including multi-generational homes with elderly residents.

“And from an equity perspective we are going to go with at least one comorbidity. We think that is a nice slice of the population. Now look, it increases tremendously the number of citizens that are eligible in phase 1-B, but it’s the right thing to do and it’s the right time to do it,” Eadie said.

Eadie said the panel also wants the state to reach out to African American and Latinx communities much the way it has done with mobile COVID-testing sites.

“We also committed to what we call education through explanation. So addressing all the concerns answering all the questions. We have to go to the community,” Eadie said.

The Trump administration has urged states to expand vaccinations. The U.S. The Department of Health and Human Services said it's releasing all available vaccines and Connecticut would be getting thousands of additional doses.

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.