Connecticut will reach the final stage of its monthslong COVID vaccine rollout Thursday when it opens eligibility to everyone in the state who is 16 and older.
Demand is expected to be high in the first few days with 1.3 million people able to make an appointment for the first time.
State officials have continued to urge patience for those newly eligible as there won’t immediately be enough appointments for everyone.
Navigating getting a vaccine can be difficult. This guide will clear up some of the questions.
Everyone 16 and older is eligible to receive a vaccine starting Thursday. Ahead of Thursday, eligibility was limited to everyone 45 and older.
While there are about 1.3 million residents age 16 to 44 who become eligible Thursday, state officials believe the number of people who will be eager to get the vaccine will be around 600,000 residents.
People from previous phases of the rollout — age 75 and above, age 65 to 74, age 55 to 64 and age 45 to 54 — will continue to be eligible to receive the vaccine.
Registration starts at 8 a.m. Thursday. People can complete the form to get access to the Vaccine Administration Management System on Wednesday. To do that, follow this link to the state’s vaccine website and complete the instructions to create a VAMS account. It can take some time to complete the steps.
The state’s system for vaccine appointments is VAMS. You can book appointments directly through this system. Some local health departments and health care providers (Bristol Health, Griffin Health and Nuvance Health) are also using VAMS, rather than their own system.
If you prefer to schedule an appointment over the phone, the state has also set up an assistance line available 8 a.m. to 8 p.m. daily. The number is 877-918-2224.
The third option is to register for an appointment directly through a health care provider or pharmacy.Check the list below. Your health care provider may also reach out to you directly to schedule an appointment.
Hartford HealthCare: Online, or call 860-827-7690; or toll-free at 833-943-5721
Yale New Haven Health: Online
Stamford Health: Online, or call 203-276-7300 (Monday through Friday, 9 a.m. - 4 p.m.)
Middlesex Health (patients can select MyChart or VAMS): Online, or call 860-358-7050 (Monday through Friday, 8 a.m. - 5 p.m.)
Trinty Health of New England: Online
Several pharmacy chains in Connecticut receive independent allocations from the federal government. Some local independent pharmacies are also offering the vaccine. The chain pharmacies offering the vaccine in Connecticut are CVS, Walgreens, Walmart and Stop & Shop. Vaccines are not offered at all locations. Appointments can be made through each company’s website:
Stop & Shop
The state receives doses of three federally approved vaccines as of April 1.
Pfizer-BioNTech, which requires two doses for full effect. This is the only vaccine approved for people age 16 and 17.
Moderna, which requires two doses for full effect. This is approved from anyone 18 and older.
Johnson & Johnson, which requires a single dose. This is approved from anyone 18 and older.
It’s not entirely clear how long you will have to wait for a vaccine. With this final expansion of the vaccine rollout, hundreds of thousands of people become eligible.
State officials said there are 240,000 first-dose vaccine appointments through this week, and they expect the weekly supply of vaccine to be in above 200,000 in early April.
Those officials remain confident that everyone who wants a vaccine will be able to get an appointment by late April or early May.
Those 16 and 17 years old follow the same process to book appointments as adults, but they can only receive the Pfizer vaccine, which is approved for these ages.
When it comes time to go to your vaccine appointment, you must be accompanied by a parent or legal guardian, officials said. If a parent or guardian cannot go, they should contact the provider to see what documentation is needed to confirm adult consent for the vaccine.
Officials warn that without an adult or the proper documentation, a 16- or 17-year-old may not get vaccinated when they go for their appointment.
State officials said there are plans being made for school-district specific vaccination clinics for children in this age group.
Non-Connecticut residents who work here can get vaccinated in the Nutmeg State when their population group is eligible.