Connecticut COVID-19 Response

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Eligibility and Requirements - Scheduling your Vaccination - Privacy - Getting the Vaccine - Employers - Vaccine Types - The Second Dose - Vaccination Trials - Long-Term Care Facilities - Safety and Vaccine Risks 

Eligibility and Requirements

When will I be able to receive a COVID-19 Vaccine? 
Information about eligibility and timeline can be found at ct.gov/covidvaccine/access. It’s important to remember that vaccination access and information change quickly, so please check back frequently for the most up-to-date information.

I was supposed to be in Phase 1b, but now I’m not.  What happened?

Eligibility for the vaccine will continue to follow an age-based schedule. Beginning March 1st, the next age group eligible for vaccination are CT residents 55 to 64 years old, as well as all preschool through 12th-grade educators and staff, and child care workers living or working in CT. Individuals who were eligible under Phase 1a or as residents/staff of congregate settings remain eligible and can still schedule their vaccination appointments.

 

I have a comorbidity and I’m not 55, can I still get vaccinated?

If you are not a resident 55+ years old and are not an eligible education or child care worker, you will be able to receive the vaccine when your age group becomes eligible. If you are under the age of 55 but were eligible for vaccine as part of Phase 1a or because you are a resident or staff in an eligible congregate setting, you are still eligible and can schedule your vaccination appointment.

 

Are only teachers eligible in the next vaccination group?

All Pre-K through 12th-grade educators and staff who work onsite with students are eligible to start scheduling and receiving the vaccine beginning March 1st. This includes:

  • Teachers, paraprofessionals, substitute teachers, and in-class volunteers
  • Custodial staff, food services workers, and school bus drivers
  • School Resource Officers and contracted social services and mental health professionals who work with students in schools
  • Before- and after-school program staff
  • Coaches
  • In-school administrative staff
  • Childcare professionals
  • Board of Education members, Adult Education, Higher Education, and staff not working in schools are NOT eligible unless they meet the appropriate age-band
For more information, check out Vaccine Eligibility for Education and Childcare Professionals and Staff.

How do I get an appointment?  Do I have to go through my school/school district? Will I have to show identification?

By March 1st, you should expect to hear from your employer and/or your local health director about options for appointments to receive your first dose. The state is committed to ensuring that our school and childcare professionals have at least one dose administered in March. We expect that closed clinics will be available to school personnel, childcare workers and others in the coming weeks as vaccine supply grows. Individuals eligible to receive vaccine because they work with children in childcare or pre-K through 12 settings must bring verification of their employment to the vaccine clinic. Such verification could include an employee ID card, a paystub, or a letter from the employer.  

I live in town X but teach in town Y, where do I get my vaccine?

You will receive options from your employer/school district by March 1st for how and where you can make appointments/receive the vaccine.

 

I teach at a boarding school, are we eligible?

Yes, educators and support staff working onsite at private schools are eligible to start scheduling and receiving the vaccine beginning March 1st.

 

Will Birth to Three staff be a part of the child care vaccine priority group?

Birth to Three Staff who work in child care settings will be considered child care staff for purposes of the vaccine priority.

 

Are college professors eligible?

No, only educators and staff for Pre-K through 12th grade are currently eligible for the vaccine. Otherwise, you may be eligible based on your age.

 

I work in a childcare center, am I eligible?

Yes, childcare professionals living or working in CT are eligible for the vaccine beginning March 1st.

 

I am a CT resident, but I teach out of state.  Am I eligible?

If you are age 55 or over, you are eligible.  However, if you are younger than 55, you are only eligible to receive vaccine if you work in a CT school district.

 

I’m under 55 years old, when will I be eligible?

As our supply of doses from the federal government increases and new vaccines are approved, we anticipate each age group will take about 3 weeks to receive their first doses of vaccine.  Therefore the anticipated schedule when each group will be allowed to begin scheduling appointments is:

  • 55+ - March 1st
  • 45+ - March 22nd
  • 35+ - April 12th
  • 16-64 - May 3rd

Is the COVID-19 vaccine mandatory?

No.  The State of Connecticut is not mandating vaccination.  

Can I get the vaccine if I live outside of the State of Connecticut? What if I work in Connecticut, but don't live in Connecticut?
You are eligible to receive vaccine in the State of Connecticut if you live or work in the State of Connecticut. If you live outside Connecticut, but work here, you must provide proof of your employment in Connecticut in order to receive your vaccination here. If you neither live nor work in the State of Connecticut, you are not eligible to receive vaccine in the State of Connecticut, even if your primary medical provider is in the State of Connecticut. If you do not live or work in Connecticut, you should receive vaccine from your State of residence when you are eligible based on their requirements. 

Can people who have already have COVID-19 get the vaccine? 
Yes.  The CDC recommends that you get vaccinated even if you have already had COVID-19 because you can catch it more than once.  You can receive the vaccine any time after you are done with your isolation period and your symptoms have resolved, but since you have antibodies for that 90 day period and re-infection is not likely during that timeframe, you can also choose to wait until after 90 days to get immunized.

 

Scheduling your Vaccination

For those looking for more information about scheduling a vaccine appointment, visit our dedicated scheduling page: 
Click here for scheduling information

I’m eligible for vaccine in the upcoming 55+ and educators group, can I schedule my vaccine appointment?
Scheduling is currently only available for those 65 and older. Scheduling for individuals 55+ and educators/childcare will begin on March 1st.

Can I support my parents, grandparents, neighbors, or others who need help scheduling online in finding an appointment?
Yes, you can.  Each person signing up through the VAMS system requires their own, distinct email address, and that is likely true for other scheduling systems as well. So, you may need to provide support in creating an email in addition to helping with scheduling. 

Should I call my doctor to schedule a vaccine appointment?
No, do not call your doctor. Not every medical provider is administering vaccines at this time. Those who are will contact their patients to schedule appointments. 

If I’m under the age of 65 and I have documented underlying health conditions can I schedule my appointment now?
No. Currently, only individuals 65 and over are being scheduled for appointments. The next group eligible to schedule and receive vaccinations are individuals 55+, educators, in-school staff, and childcare professionals. If you do not fall into the next eligible group, you must wait until your age group is eligible for vaccination to schedule your appointment. 

I am in Phase 1a, but wasn’t able to get my vaccination yet, do I have to wait now?
No, individuals who were eligible in Phase 1a can still be vaccinated, along with individuals 65 and over. If you lack the internet access to make your appointment you can call the COVID-19 Vaccine Appointments Assistance Line, 877-918-2224, seven days a week from 8:00 a.m. to 8:00 p.m to schedule at select sites. Due to high volume, hold times may vary.

What if I can’t schedule an appointment when my window opens up?
Currently, the state’s weekly supply of vaccines is smaller than the demand for vaccines.  While the supply of doses from the federal government is increasing, we are still several weeks away from having a supply that will meet demand.  Therefore, when we open up new age groups for vaccination, there will be delays in getting appointments. We ask for everyone’s patience and please know that you will get an appointment, but it might take some time for appointments to open up. 

 

Privacy

If I get a vaccination, where will my information go? Can I be sure it will be kept safe?
Your personal and health care information will be kept private, and will not be shared outside of your healthcare provider's office, and the Department of Public Health. Personal identifying information such as your name, contact information, and address will be treated as confidential health care information and will not be shared with law enforcement or the federal government without a court order or similar legal compulsion.

Getting the Vaccine

Where do I go for a vaccination? 
When you are eligible for a vaccination, you will most likely work through your medical provider, or the employer coordinator at your workplace to learn about the specifics of your eligibility requirements. Vaccines will be able to be administered in a wide range of places: physician’s offices, hospitals, pharmacies, community health centers, and other locations that would normally administer vaccinations.  

I don't have state-issued identification, will I be able to get a COVID-19 vaccination?
Yes, you can still be vaccinated. No person will be turned away based on their ability to show ID. While sharing your contact information may not be required to get a vaccine, staff at the vaccination site may ask individuals for an ID, but this only applies to people who have one. Individuals should bring an ID, if they have one, to verify the name and eligibility information they submitted to the vaccination appointment system, their insurance information if they have insurance, and their employment in Connecticut if they work but do not live in the state. Individuals can still get the COVID-19 vaccine without insurance or an ID.

Am I going to be required to carry verification that I’ve been vaccinated? 
No. Although your provider will make sure that their records reflect you have received the vaccine in order to most effectively treat you in the future.  

Can I get a certificate that says I am vaccinated?

Most providers will give you a card when they administer your first vaccine dose that notes the date and reminds you of your next appointment to receive the second dose.  The State is currently exploring options for providing some form of vaccine verification beyond the cards in use now by vaccine administrators.

 

Employers

I have staff that I believe qualify as healthcare and medical first responders in Phase 1a, how do I get them vaccinated? 
Employees eligible for vaccination should schedule an appointment directly with a provider or clinic currently administering the vaccine. Click here to view appointment scheduling options.

I signed up to be an employer coordinator, is that still necessary?
Since we are going forward with an age-based vaccination schedule, you are no longer required to upload rosters of your employees.

My employees were considered frontline essential workers under Phase 1b.  What happens now?

Eligibility is no longer determined by place or type of employment.  Your employees’ eligibility for vaccine will be determined by their age.

 

Vaccine Types

Is there a difference between the vaccinations that I can take? 
There are only small differences, but both vaccines currently authorized by the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) are highly effective based on trials. Below, you’ll see some basic details about both.  

Vaccine Age Requirements Recommended Time Between Doses 
Pfizer  16+ 21 days
Moderna  18+ 28 days

Do I get to choose which vaccine brand I want to receive? 
In general, given scarce supply, only one vaccine may be available through your provider. You can talk with your medical provider if you have specific questions or concerns that may lead you to want to seek out one specific COVID-19 vaccine versus another.  

Can I choose the vaccine that says it’s the most effective?

Getting the vaccine, regardless of the brand, will protect you from severe illness, hospitalization and the risk of death from COVID-19.

 

Can I choose to get a one-dose vaccine? I don’t have time for two shots.
Currently the only vaccines available require a two-dose course for full protection against COVID-19.  One-dose vaccines may soon be available depending on authorization by the FDA. However, they will be in scarce supply for some time, and not every provider will have access to them, so the choice will be limited by the provider.

The Second Dose

How do I know when to schedule my second vaccination? 
Most providers will ask you to schedule your first and second vaccination at the same time and will help you set up reminders via text, email, or phone call about your second dose.  

What if I miss my second shot, or cannot find an appointment for 21 (for Pfizer)or 28 (for Moderna) days after my first shot - is it a problem if I wait?
No. You do not need to get your second dose exactly 21 (for Pfizer) or 28 (for Moderna) days after your first shot. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) have advised that the second should be taken up to 42 days of the first dose. However, the CDC has also indicated that you do not need to start the shots over again if you go beyond the 42-day window for the second shot. It will still be effective.

Vaccination Trials
How do we know the vaccines are safe? 
The Pfizer vaccine alone had a trial of over 40,000 people over a period of many months without any serious incidents. No vaccines will be available to the public without the review of the federal government and the Science Subcommittee of Governor Lamont’s Vaccine Advisory Group. In Connecticut, we continue to make every decision with public health as a number one priority.  

 

Since the vaccine is so new, how do you know there won’t be long-term health effects from taking it? 
Because all COVID-19 vaccines are new, it will take more time and more people getting vaccinates to learn about very rare or possible long-term effects.  At least 8 weeks’ worth of safety data were gathered in the clinical trials for all the authorized vaccines and it’s unusual for vaccine side effects to appear more than 8 weeks after vaccination. 

Long-Term Care Facilities

My relative is in a nursing home, can I visit once the residents are vaccinated? 
You should continue to follow guidelines released by the Department of Public Health. While you or your family member may be vaccinated, you may come into others who are not, so it is critical to continue to use caution. 

If I’m vaccinated, can I visit family in the hospital or nursing home? 
You should continue to follow guidelines released by the Department of Public Health. While you or your family member may be vaccinated, you may come into others who are not, so it is critical to continue to use caution. 

Once I’m vaccinated, can I stop wearing a mask and social distancing? 
No. Not everyone you come into contact with will have received the vaccine, and you may still be able to spread COVID-19. It is critical to follow basic public health best practices for the foreseeable future. 

Safety and Vaccine Risks

Can I still get COVID-19 after I’m vaccinated? 
It typically takes a few weeks for the body to build immunity after vaccination. That means it’s possible you could be infected with the virus that causes COVID-19 just before or just after vaccination and get sick. However, if you still get infected after you get vaccinated, the vaccine may prevent serious illness.

What are the side effects of the vaccine? 
Those who receive the vaccine may experience mild symptoms of COVID-19 and soreness at the site of injection. Information about rare allergic reactions to the vaccination can be found on the CDC website

Is it safe to get vaccinated if I have an underlying health condition? 
Yes. COVID-19 vaccination is especially important for people with underlying health problems like heart disease, lung disease, diabetes, and obesity.  People with these conditions are more likely to get very sick from COVID-19. It is recommended that people with these conditions get vaccinated. Individuals who have had prior allergic reactions to injectable medicines should consult with their medical providers before receiving a COVID-19 vaccine.  

I’ve had allergic reactions to other shots, can I get the COVID-19 vaccine? 
You should talk with your provider about what allergies may make it risky for you to get the COVID-19 vaccination, but, it has proven safe in the vast majority of instances.  

Can I get the vaccine if I’m pregnant or nursing? 
Yes. 

Is the COVID-19 vaccination safe for children?
Vaccinations are only authorized for those over 16 at this time, and more research needs to be done to develop a vaccine for children, but we are hopeful that there will be an update in the future.

Can people who have already have COVID-19 get the vaccine? 
Yes. The CDC recommends that you get vaccinated even if you have already had COVID-19 because you can catch it more than once. While you may have some short-term antibody protection after recovering from COVID-19, we don’t know how long this protection will last. 

How do we know the vaccines are safe? 
The Pfizer vaccine alone had a trial of over 40,000 people over a period of many months without any serious incidents. No vaccines will be available to the public without the review of the federal government and the Science Subcommittee of Governor Lamont’s Vaccine Advisory Group. In Connecticut, we continue to make every decision with public health as a number one priority.  

Can the vaccine give me COVID-19? 
No.  None of the COVD-19 vaccines currently authorized for use or in development in the United States use the live virus that causes COVID-19. However, it typically takes a few weeks for the body to build immunity after vaccination. That means it’s possible you could be infected with the virus that causes COVID-19 just before or just after vaccination and get sick. 

Does this vaccine cause infertility? 
No. This is a rumor. 

I have a food allergy, can I get the vaccine? 
Yes. Information about the COVID-19 vaccination and allergies can be found on the CDC's website.

I have seasonal allergies, can I get the vaccine? 
Yes. Information about the COVID-19 vaccination and allergies can be found on the CDC's website.

Can the vaccine give me COVID-19? 
No. None of the COVID-19 vaccines currently authorized for use or in development in the United States use the live virus that causes COVID-19.  However, it typically takes a few weeks for the body to build immunity after vaccination. That means it’s possible you could be infected with the virus that causes COVID-19 just before or just after vaccination and get sick.

 

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