Tens of thousands of doses of the newly approved Johnson & Johnson COVID-19 vaccine have been earmarked for Connecticut as the state ramps up its vaccination program, Gov. Ned Lamont announced.
Lamont said that approximately 39,000 new doses from the federal government are coming now that the Johnson & Johnson vaccine was approved for emergency use by the federal government over the weekend.
The new allocation of vaccinations from Johnson & Johnson comes as teachers, daycare workers, and Connecticut residents over the age of 55 became eligible to receive the vaccine.
Approximately 500,000 more Connecticut residents are now eligible to receive the vaccine.
Lamont cautioned that more appointments will be coming available, but it will still take time to schedule as more people become eligible to receive the vaccine.
“We believe the Johnson & Johnson single-shot COVID-19 vaccine is a critical tool for fighting this global pandemic, particularly as it shows protection across countries with different variants,” Paul Stoffels, M.D., Vice Chairman of the Executive Committee and Chief Scientific Officer for Johnson & Johnson said when the vaccine was approved over the weekend.
“A vaccine that protects against COVID-19, especially against the most dire outcomes of hospitalization and death, will help ease the burden on people and the strain on health systems worldwide.”
According to the Connecticut Department of Public Health, the state remains top five nationally in administering at least one dose of the vaccination, with 19.5 percent having received their first shot, compared to 15 percent nationwide.
In the latest data released by Lamont, he said that there have been 627,788 COVID-19 first doses administered, with 336,155 second doses administered for a total of 963,943 doses total, among the highest percentage in the country.
Of the Connecticut residents over the age of 75, 75 percent have received at least one COVID-19 vaccination shot, with 52 percent of those between the ages of 65 and 74 have received a shot.
According to Lamont, Connecticut is expecting an additional 156,000 additional first doses to be distributed to the state this week.
“When we started out, when it came to vaccines, we were getting about 45,000, 46,000 first doses, and now we’re up to 100,000 a week, and next week we get our first 30,000 from J&J, so help is on the way,” Lamont said.
“We have in place the structure to get everyone vaccinated, we want to make it easy,” he added. “So take advantage. Spring is coming … Spring is in the air. The vaccines are going to make this something that we can put in our rearview mirror very soon.”
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