HARTFORD, Conn. (AP) — About 80,000 Connecticut residents ages 45 to 54 have made appointments to get COVID-19 vaccinations since their age group became eligible for the shots on Friday, Gov. Ned Lamont said Monday.
The total is less than 20% of the estimated 500,000 state residents ages 45 to 54, but Lamont said many in that age group have already been vaccinated because they were eligible earlier as medical workers, teachers and other frontline workers. About 22% of people in that age group have received the first of the two-dose vaccines.
Connecticut has surpassed 1 million first doses administered, out of a total population of 3.5 million, new state data show. Another 584,000 residents are fully vaccinated. Nearly 80% of residents 75 and older have received their first shots, as have 76% of residents ages 65 to 74 and just over half of people 55 to 64.
The state remains on track to open vaccinations to everyone 16 and older on April 5, Lamont said.
The Democratic governor also announced the state will be rolling out 35 mobile vaccination vans by mid-August to reach underserved communities. Each van will be able to administer 160 doses per day. They are in addition to many other mobile vaccination units deployed by health care organizations around the state.
Lamont said cities, which have larger minority populations than the suburbs, continue to lag behind in vaccinations. He said some cities only have had 35% to 40% of their eligible populations vaccinated, compared with 70% and higher in some suburbs.
“We have to continue our outreach, especially for our Black and brown populations,” he said. “We've got to do a better job of getting people vaccinated there.”
New data also shows the state is nearing 300,000 coronavirus infections since the pandemic started. The state reported nine more deaths since Friday, bringing the total to 7,841. The number of people hospitalized decreased by 13 to 389, the lowest number since early November.