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February 16, 2021

Lamont gets vaccinated, stresses need to bring vaccine to communities of color

Photo | Contributed Gov. Ned Lamont gets his first dose of COVID-19 vaccine Feb. 16 at The First Cathedral chruch in Bloomfield.

Gov. Ned Lamont took off his dress shirt and pushed up his sleeve to get his first dose of Pfizer’s COVID-19 vaccine to a crowd of news reporters on Tuesday. 

At age 67, Lamont qualified for vaccination under the state’s current phased system.

The setting, Bloomfield’s The First Cathedral church, and series of speakers before the governor’s procedure brought home the message that the state’s vaccination effort has failed to reach many people of color. 

The Connecticut Department of Public Health released data that showed that only 3.4% of the more than 333,800 doses it administered as of Feb. 3 went to Black residents.

“We have to do better, we have to,” said State Rep. Bobby Gibson (D-15), whose district includes Bloomfield and Windsor. “We have to get to our communities.”

State Treasurer Shawn T. Wooden spoke of the distrust of the medical establishment he found in his own African-American extended family due to a long history of racism and experimentation on people of color.

“There’s a reason why we don't trust the system,” Wooden said. “We need to validate the experience of our community, we need to educate and we need to put our money where our mouth is by taking that shot in our arm publicly.” 

As part of the event, Trinity Health of New England medical staff administered the first dose of vaccine to  members of the church’s congregation over the age of 65.

“We're doing pretty well as a state – we've got to do a lot better,” Lamont said. “A lot of people are getting left behind and there are too many people of color. We've got to do everything we can to bring the vaccine to them.”

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