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Connecticut Official Defends Age-Based Vaccine Rollout

Covid-19 Vaccine
Ted S. Warren

The state official in charge of Connecticut’s vaccine rollout believes Governor Ned Lamont’s decision to switch to an age-based plan is the quickest and most equitable way to get shots in the arm.

Josh Geballe is Connecticut’s chief operating officer. He said Lamont has had two primary goals from the beginning of the vaccine rollout.

“The first is speed. Getting shots into arms as quickly as we can. Reducing severe illness and death as quickly as we can. And the second is equity. Making sure everybody in this state regardless where they live, the color of their skin, how much money they make, what kind of access they have to the healthcare system, has an equal shot to get a vaccine when they want one,” Geballe said.

Geballe said an age-based plan is the best way to get that done.

“And of course age most closely correlates with the risk of death from COVID for all races and ethnicities. So we figured continuing to work backwards from there would make the most sense,” Geballe said.

He said pre-K to Grade 12 educators and professional childcare providers would remain the one group who will be given priority when people age 55 and over can sign up for vaccinations starting on Monday.

People with pre-existing conditions would have to wait for their age group to sign-up, but the state will continue to honor appointments for those who already have them.

Sign-up expands to 45 and older on March 22. It expands to 35 and older on April 12th and 16 and older on May 3.

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.