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Is CT's New Vaccine Strategy Prioritizing Speed Over Equity?

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station description Welcome to Steady Habits: A CT Mirror Podcast, hosted by John Dankosky. Our goal is... read more
Steady Habits: A CT Mirror Podcast
Duration: 32:16
State residents were surprised by Gov. Ned Lamont’s announcement this week that Connecticut was changing course on its vaccine distribution plans. Instead of essential workers and those with underlying health conditions going next in line, the state will move to a strictly age-based vaccine ro
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State residents were surprised by Gov. Ned Lamont’s announcement this week that Connecticut was changing course on its vaccine distribution plans. Instead of essential workers and those with underlying health conditions going next in line, the state will move to a strictly age-based vaccine rollout. 
Some essential workers, such as grocery store employees, have told The Mirror that they’re “disgusted” by their removal from the front of the line. And Ron Petronella, of the United Food and Commercial Workers Union Local 371 in Westport told WSHU, “It’s upsetting to us that the stores are busier now than ever, and the infection can spread more easily there, I think, than in the classroom.” 
That’s in reference to the only exception being made to the age-based rollout, for school teachers and childcare workers, who’ll be able to get vaccines at clinics set up specially for them. 
Lamont said this plan keeps it simple. “Look, we are not blazing a new trail. We looked over at Europe and we've seen a great deal of success there. The healthcare professionals gave me a great deal of confidence that we are still prioritizing those most at risk so I think it’s the right way to go,” Lamont said.
The change, as we have documented, means fewer people of color and those at higher risk of dying from COVID-19 will be eligible for shots in the next round. Equity advocates, like Tekisha Everette, executive director of Health Equity Solutions, and a member of the state vaccine allocation subcommittee, tells us she’s “wary” of the age-based approach, and disappointed that her recommendations weren’t heeded. She also said she didn’t even learn of the change until moments before it became public. 
Another group that was upset by the change is the disability rights community. Many states have prioritized people with underlying health conditions
This episode, we also talk with Kathy Flaherty, executive director of Connecticut Legal Rights Project. She told The Mirror that the new plan was “heartbreaking” for people who “have been left behind.”See omnystudio.com/listener for privacy information.
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