Operation Warp Speed will soon bear fruit. Nine months into the pandemic, the Food and Drug Administration is expected to approve the use and distribution of two COVID-19 vaccinations manufactured by Pfizer and Moderna the second and third weeks of December, respectively; initial distribution of the Pfizer vaccine could begin as early as December 15th. Today, the Lamont administration released a framework of its plans for the distribution of an anticipated COVID-19 vaccine when it becomes available.
The state’s draft distribution plan (which is subject to change), developed by the Department of Public Health (DPH) and the Governor’s COVID-19 Vaccine Advisory Group is based on recommendations from the CDC’s Advisory Committee on Immunization Practices (ACIP).
The anticipated phases of vaccine distribution in the State of Connecticut are:
Phase 1a-As soon as vaccine is received
Long-Term Care Facility Residents Medical First Responders
Other Congregate Settings
Adults Over 65 High Risk Individuals Under 65
Those Under 18 Remaining People Over 18
While supply of the vaccine will be limited initially, the state plans to work to vaccinate vulnerable populations and critical workforce members quickly. In line with ACIP recommendation Under Phase 1a Connecticut’s vaccination will reach healthcare personnel and residents of long-term care facilities, including Assisted Living communities.
According to ACIP, health care personnel are defined as paid and unpaid people serving in health care settings who have the potential for direct or indirect exposure to patients or infectious materials.
Long-term care facility residents are defined as adults who reside in facilities that provide a variety of services, including medical and personal care, to persons who are unable to live independently.
Vaccines are scheduled to begin shipping as early as December 14 (Pfizer) and December 21 (Moderna) in Connecticut and and weekly shipments are expected to follow. The state is expecting to receive roughly 180,000 doses of the vaccine by the end of the calendar year.
The state is expecting Phase 1a vaccinations to begin in mid-December of 2020.
Phase 1b will begin in the first quarter of 2021 – possibly as soon as January, depending upon the supply of vaccine. Department of Public Health Commissioner Deidre Gifford acknowledged during the Governor’s news briefing today that the categories of targeted recipients are very broad and indicated that further refinement and prioritization will need to be done.
Children Under 18
Clinical trials that include children are just beginning. . They may be added later once the trials are completed and an application is submitted to the FDA.
Finally, the Governor and DPH Commissioner emphasized that new information about the vaccine continues to develop each day and plans for its distribution are expected to continue evolving as the situation develops. Information on the state’s distribution plans is being published online at ct.gov/covidvaccine.