Connecticut Gov. Ned Lamont announced Monday that all Connecticut residents ages 16 and older will be eligible for their COVID-19 vaccination approximately one month ahead of the original schedule.
According to the Connecticut Post, Lamont’s accelerated COVID-19 vaccination eligibility timeline will take place in two parts. The state will first open eligibility to residents ages 45 to 54 on Friday, March 19, three days ahead of schedule. The second phase will open eligibility to residents ages 16 to 44, tentatively on April 5.
“Unless the world shifts on its axis, I am feeling pretty good about April 5th,” Lamont said to the Connecticut Post.
The previous timeline had residents ages 35 to 44 becoming eligible on April 12 and residents 16 to 34 becoming eligible on May 3, according to NBC Connecticut.
Connecticut will work with providers and the Department of Developmental Services to accelerate vaccine access for medically high-risk individuals under 45 in April, according to NBC Connecticut.
For some University of Connecticut students, Gov. Lamont’s announcement made them optimistic.
Emma Pereira, a sixth semester business management major, said she is looking forward to getting her vaccine. She was pleasantly surprised to learn that her age cohort in her home state will qualify earlier than expected.
“I am very happy that the vaccines are coming out sooner and I can’t wait to get one,” Pereira said.
Chrystal Charles, an eighth-semester psychological sciences major, said it’s reassuring to know that Connecticut is actively working to vaccinate its population. “I think it’s a relief that the vaccine rollout is accelerating,” Charles said. “The sooner this gets going, the sooner it will slow the spread.”
As a Massachusetts resident, William Aldenberg, a sixth-semester vocal performance major, said he doesn’t qualify for the COVID-19 vaccine until an undetermined date in April. He’s hopeful Massachusetts might be able to accelerate its timeline after seeing Connecticut do so.
“I think it’s a relief that the vaccine rollout is accelerating,” Charles said. “The sooner this gets going, the sooner it will slow the spread.”Crystal Charles
“I was actually quite surprised to see this accelerated timeline, and I hope that Connecticut has the resources to carry out this plan,” Aldenberg said. “Maybe I am ‘so close yet so far,’ but the more people I know that get the vaccine, the more excited I am that I will be able to get it soon.”
Aldenberg said he would be willing to travel to Connecticut, if needed, to receive the vaccine.
“I will get the vaccine as soon as I am eligible, however I am able to do that,” he said. “Having had loved ones battle the virus, and knowing people who have lost family to the pandemic, getting the vaccine is a priority for me. I want to do what I can to protect the people I care about.”