As the second wave of COVID-19 continues to impact Connecticut, vaccinations for the virus are underway across the state — starting with health care workers and nursing homes.
Below find the latest on local and statewide updates related to the vaccine, as well as major regional, national and global information.
12:50 p.m. - The Carolton Chronic and Convalescent Hospital, which offers long- and short-term care at its Fairfield-based facility, announced Thursday that all eligible patients and the majority of the staff got their first dose of the COVID-19 vaccine this week. All those who got their first dose this week will get their second dose in three weeks.
3:57 p.m. - So far, six people in the United States have had allergic reactions to the COVID-19 vaccine, out of the roughly 1 million individuals vaccinated, according to Moncef Slaoui, the scientific head of Operation Warp Speed.
3:34 p.m. - Canadian regulators have approved the Moderna vaccine for use in patients 18 or older, The New York Times reported. The country has also approved the Pfizer-BioNTech vaccine for use, but the ultra-cold storage requirements of that vaccine may make it impractical to deliver to the sparsely populated far north. Moderna’s vaccine can be stored at comparatively warmer temperatures, opening up the possibility of vaccinating people living in remote areas.
8:55 a.m. - The Trump administration announced Wednesday it has reached a deal with Pfizer to buy an additional 100 million COVID-19 vaccine doses, according to NPR.
1:50 p.m. - ShopRite announced Tuesday it has partnered with the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services and the CDC to offer the COVID-19 vaccine. ShopRite said it is working with state and local officials to reach priority populations including health care workers, long-term care facilities and frontline workers. Information on pharmacies that will distribute the vaccine will be provided at a later date.
1:40 p.m. - Late Monday afternoon, Gov. Ned Lamont said 7,761 doses of the COVID-19 vaccine had been administered so far in Connecticut since shipments started to arrive. Last week, the state received 31,200 doses of Pfizer’s vaccine; another 24,375 doses are expected this week. The state also expects 63,3000 doses of the Moderna vaccine this week.
1:40 p.m. - St. Vincent’s Medical Center in Bridgeport received 1,000 doses of the Moderna COVID-19 vaccine on Monday.
10:35 a.m. - Rite Aid announced Monday it will expand its no-charge COVID-19 testing with an additional 99 drive-through locations opening on Tuesday in partnership with the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services. Connecticut is among the states where additional testing will be offered. A complete list of COVID-19 testing sites can be found at www.riteaid.com.
9:40 a.m. - A shipment of the Moderna COVID-19 vaccine is scheduled to arrive at Hartford Hospital at 10:30 a.m. Monday.
7 a.m. - CVS Health has launched a COVID-19 vaccination program to help vaccinate staff and residents at long-term care facilities nationwide. This week, the program rolls out in 12 states, including Connecticut. Click here to read the full story.
6:55 a.m. - Gov. Ned Lamont announced Monday that he has directed the state Department of Public Health to add Moderna’s COVID-19 vaccine to the state’s ongoing vaccination program. Connecticut is expected to receive about 63,300 doses of the Moderna vaccine this week. Click here to read the full story.
6:30 a.m. - A federal advisory panel on Sunday recommended that people ages 75 and older, as well as essential workers like firefighters, teachers and grocery store workers, should be next in line for COVID-19 vaccinations.
6 a.m. - The CDC approved the Moderna COVID-19 vaccine on Friday night, making it the second vaccine to combat the ongoing pandemic.
9:05 a.m. - Vice President Mike Pence was vaccinated for COVID-19 during a live-television event Friday morning. Pence is the highest profile official yet to receive the vaccine. His wife, Karen, and Surgeon General Jerome Adams were also vaccinated during the event.
6:20 a.m. - Vaccinations are scheduled to begin at nursing homes in Connecticut on Friday morning. Gov. Ned Lamont is set to attend a press conference at The Reservoir in West Hartford at 10 a.m.
1:30 p.m. - During a news conference Tuesday afternoon, Gov. Ned Lamont said most of the 32,600 doses of vaccine Connecticut expects to receive from Pfizer this week should arrive by the end of Wednesday. A winter storm is expected to dump up to 18 inches of snow in parts of the state that evening into the following Thursday. “I think we can manage the delivery,” Lamont said, speaking from a Department of Transportation garage in Hartford. “Whether everybody’s going to get vaccinated on Friday or Thursday, we’ll see,” he added.
1 p.m. - COVID-19 vaccinations arrived at Yale New Haven Health Tuesday morning and vaccinations are set to begin any minute. These first vaccinations are being live-streamed on the health network’s Facebook page. Click here to read the full story.
11 a.m. - Select staff members at Stamford Hospital are set to be vaccinated Wednesday as part of training for staff running a COVID-19 clinic, Stamford Health officials said Tuesday. Additional doses will be administered to staff on Thursday.
10:55 a.m. - The first health care workers of Trinity Health Of New England will be vaccinated for COVID-19 at Saint Francis Hospital in Hartford on Tuesday, starting at 11 a.m.
9:47 a.m. - The first 2,925 doses of the COVID-19 vaccine arrived at Yale New Haven Hospital shortly after 8 a.m. Tuesday. The shipment was flown by FedEx from Kalamazoo, Mich., to Bradley International Airport, then driven by truck to New Haven. The first five vaccinations are set to take place at 1 p.m. during a Zoom press conference.
9:45 a.m. - The FDA said Tuesday that its initial review of the COVID-19 vaccine developed by Moderna and the National Institutes of Health confirmed its effectiveness and safety. A panel of outside experts will offer their recommendation on Thursday, with a final FDA decision expected soon after.
8:10 a.m. - Pending any unforeseen delays, a shipment of COVID-19 vaccine doses is expected to arrive at Yale New Haven Hospital for hospitals in the Yale New Haven Health network sometime between 8:15 a.m. and 8:30 a.m. Tuesday.
7:40 a.m. - A shipment of COVID-19 vaccine is expected to arrive at St. Vincent’s Medical Center in Bridgeport sometime between 8:45 a.m. and 9 a.m. Tuesday. St. Vincent’s Medical Center is in the Hartford HealthCare network, which received its first shipment of vaccine doses Monday morning.
12:30 p.m. - Officials from the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services and Department of Defense celebrated first inoculations of Americans with the Pfizer-BioNTech COVID-19 vaccine Monday and gave an update on future vaccine roll out.
Across the country, 2.9 million Pfizer doses will be shipped out this week, said General Gustave F. Perna, chief operating officer for Operation Warp Speed, the Trump administration vaccine development program. After the first shipment of Pfizer doses that arrive at sites Monday, Tuesday and Wednesday, they will distribute more Pfizer vaccine every Friday.
Perna said he’s hopeful the U.S. Food and Drug will authorize the Moderna vaccine at the end of this week and doses of the Moderna vaccine ship to sites next Monday.
Health and Human Services Secretary Alex Azar said they predict 20 million people will receive their first vaccine dose by the end of the year. An additional 30 million people will get their first doses by the end of January. By the end of March, they expect 100 million people will be fully vaccinated, having received their first and second doses.
Moncef Slaoui, the scientific head of Operation Warp Speed, said they expect the Johnson and Johnson vaccine could be ready to inoculate Americans starting in February, with the Astra-Zeneca vaccine following in March.
12:03 p.m. - Yale New Haven Health will start to distribute the roughly 2,000 doses of vaccine as soon as the shipment arrives late Tuesday morning, according to Dr. Tom Balcezak, chief medical officer for Yale New Haven Health.
He said it will take about 17 weeks before the health network’s 26,000 workers are vaccinated.
“Our overarching first priority is our frontline health care workers,” he said.
While YNHH employees are not required to receive the vaccine, internal polling shows about 80 percent of staff members are willing to take it, Balcezak said.
When asked what he would tell people who are skeptical about the vaccine, Balcezak said, “I would encourage them to take it. I’m going to have it, when I get my chance. ... I believe it is safe and effective.”
He’ll also be encouraging family members to get vaccinated, he said, adding that he believes acceptance of the vaccine in general will increase as folks watch others safely receive it.
Even with the vaccine set to arrive, Balcezak said the mood among hospital staff was complicated.
“Overall, I think people are optimistic about the vaccine. I think they’re concerned about the increasing number of cases, I think they’re sad about the inability to celebrate the holidays in the normal ways,” he said. “I think they’re looking forward to this next phase where we can close the door on this pandemic.”
11:55 a.m. - SEIU 1199 New England, the largest health care union in Connecticut, released a statement late Monday morning that said the union recommends all members working in hospitals, nursing homes, group homes, home care and providing other sensitive health care services get the COVID-19 vaccine as soon as it becomes available to them.
11 a.m. - The first COVID-19 vaccinations are underway in Connecticut. Click here to read the full story.
10:05 a.m. - Bridgeport Hospital spokesman John Cappiello said the hospital was expecting doses by some time mid-week.
10 a.m. - Mark D’Antonio, media relations coordinator for Yale New Haven Health System/Yale New Haven Hospital, said Monday that Yale would be getting a shipment via FedEx Tuesday morning.
9:40 a.m. - Nuvance Health officials said they’ve been told to expect the vaccine on Monday, Tuesday or Wednesday.
“We don’t know anything definitive,” said Andrea Rynn, spokeswoman for the health system, which includes Danbury, Norwalk, New Milford and Sharon hospitals. “Information is still moving.”
The hospitals still do not know how may doses they are getting initially or how many health care workers will be vaccinated in the first round. Staff are expected to be vaccinated at least 24 hours after the doses arrive, Rynn said. Administrators are deciding who will get it first, she said.
9:02 a.m. - The COVID-19 vaccine doses, expected to arrive at 10 a.m., arrived early at Hartford Hospital Monday morning, officials said.
8:40 a.m. - The state is set to receive its first shipment of COVID-19 vaccines Monday morning. There will be a press conference at Hartford Hospital around 10 a.m.