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April 13, 2021

A COVID milestone: More than half of CT adults are now vaccinated

Yehyun Kim | CT Mirror Sara Khalid, a nurse practitioner, disinfects Gregory Borino, of New Haven, for COVID-19 vaccination.

More than half of Connecticut residents 16 and older have received at least a first dose of the COVID-19 vaccine, Gov. Ned Lamont said Monday.

State leaders acknowledged the milestone while continuing to encourage young adults to get the shot. As of Monday, 30% of residents ages 16 to 44 had received a first dose. Though some people in that age group were eligible to receive a vaccine earlier because of their profession, many were only able to begin scheduling appointments two weeks ago.

“We’re having good progress with the vaccine,” Lamont said. “We finally have a majority of people in Connecticut – the adults – vaccinated.”

As of Monday, 1.53 million first doses had been administered – accounting for 52% of eligible state residents – and 977,061 people were fully vaccinated. Eighty-three percent of residents 65 and older had received a first dose, as had 71% of people 55 to 64, and 54% of those 45 to 54.

“You may remember, going back a few months, [headlines such as] ‘50% are vaccine hesitant,’ and ‘50% may not get vaccinated – what are we going to do?’ I hope those 65 and above are the canary in a coal mine,” Lamont said.

The governor said he expects residents ages 12 to 15 to be eligible for a coronavirus shot “in the coming weeks.”

Pfizer recently announced that its COVID-19 vaccine was 100% effective in those aged 12 to 15. The company’s phase 3 trial enrolled 2,260 teens in the U.S.; none of the participants who received the vaccine developed an infection.

“We share the urgency to expand the authorization of our vaccine to use in younger populations and are encouraged by the clinical trial data,” Albert Bourla, chairman and CEO of Pfizer, said in a statement March 31. The company has asked the Food and Drug Administration for emergency use authorization.

“It looks like Pfizer’s going to get a green light in the next month or so for the younger demographic,” Lamont said Monday. “That’s really important, because the younger demographic is not suffering many complications, but it’s suffering a lot of infections. We’re really hopeful that the younger age group will be able to be vaccinated and be vaccinated soon.”

Over the weekend, Trinity Health of New England held a 24-hour “vax-a-thon” at the Artists Collective in Hartford, inoculating residents from 5 p.m. Friday to 5 p.m. on Saturday. About 4,000 people were vaccinated as part of the effort, officials said, more than half of whom were people of color.

Connecticut logged an additional 13 COVID-19 deaths since Friday, bringing the state’s total to 7,957. The positivity rate remained flat at 3.02%.

“Our numbers have stabilized, and that’s better than some of the alternatives,” Lamont said. “We take nothing for granted, but I think we continue to make good progress here.”

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