Across Litchfield County on Monday, many leaders praised Gov. Ned Lamont’s decision to expand COVID-19 vaccination eligibility next month, though questions remain about the rollout.
Warren First Selectman Timothy Angevine said he is pleased “to hear the governor is optimistic the state will continue to acquire good supply of the vaccine.”
“The governor’s office has set an aggressive schedule of three weeks to try and vaccinate the 55-to-64 age group starting March 1,” Angevine said. “I appreciate the thought given to the decision to go with an age- based approach. The complexities of sorting through pre-existing conditions seems daunting.”
Lamont’s decision means the expansion will be done through defined age groupsand teachers, shifting priority away from essential workers and those with underlying medical conditions
Robert Rubbo, the director of the Torrington Area Health District, said he wasn’t sure of the details of the shift Monday afternoon, as he and other officials there were going to be briefed on the specifics of the rollout later in the day.
“Everything will depend on vaccine availability,” said Rubbo.
In Norfolk, First Selectman Matthew Riiska, said, “I suppose the way we have to look at it is we need to get everyone vaccinated.”
“If there’s a change in direction, and it’s not the group that they originally planned on is going to get it but eventually they’ll get it, I think we have to move forward and do whatever we can,” Riiska, said.
In Roxbury, First Selectwoman Barbara Henry noted “essential workers were already taken care of.
“I do think that people with underlying conditions should be next in line but I know the teachers have also been waiting quite awhile,” she said.
In Washington, First Selectman Jim Brinton said he understands, “the difficulties in allocating this thing, but it’s a little disappointing that we’ve got, in addition to the teachers, tons of essential workers here in Washington alone.
“These people are on the front lines every day, and I get the difficulties in prioritizing but I think once you get below your 65 age group, you are reaching people who are still working, so you’ve got a lot of essential workers out there,” he said.
Previously under Phase 1B of the plan, essential workers and those with preexisiting medical conditions that put them at greater risk of COVID-19 complications were supposed to be next in line for vaccines.