Connecticut Governor Ned Lamont, D, told CNBC’s The News with Shepard Smith, “We need to do a better job there” when it comes to delivering Covid vaccines to underserved communities.
“People of color are twice as likely to be infected and have complications and vaccinated half as often,” Lamont said during an interview on Tuesday evening. “We bring the mobile vans to the parishes, we work together with the churches.”
Data from the State Department of Health (DPH) suggests that “there are differences in vaccine delivery across racial boundaries, with black populations lagging behind white and Hispanic populations”. However, Lamont assured host Shepard Smith that officials are working to make sure he is allocating enough vaccines to underserved communities and that “no one is left behind”.
Connecticut is gaining national attention for violating federal guidelines and prioritizing age over health or employment status. More than six in ten state residents aged 75 and over have been vaccinated. The only exception to the rule are teachers and others who work in schools. Lamont stated that his vaccine adoption strategy is based on the data.
“We thought we could really focus on the older population, 55+, where 96% of complications occur,” Lamont said.
Connecticut has seen some success getting Covid shots in the arms. According to the CDC, 882,777 shots were administered, a stab rate of 90%.
Smith asked about Connecticut frontline workers who were “disgusted” by Lamont’s strategy. The Connecticut governor redoubled his strategy, pointing out those workers who live with older family members.
“I say a lot of them live in multigenerational houses and thank god they are there with their mothers, fathers and grandparents and they have now been vaccinated so they know they can get home safely and they know within three weeks, 45 and up can get vaccinated so they know there is light at the end of the tunnel and it’s their turn to be quick, “Lamont said.
Access to a wider range of vaccines in the US may be quicker than expected. Pfizer and Moderna executives told House lawmakers Tuesday that their companies expect to double and potentially triple vaccine shipments in the coming weeks. John Young, Pfizer’s chief business officer, said the company could increase production from approximately 5 million cans to more than 13 million cans by mid-March. The President of Moderna, Dr. Stephen Hoge said his company is also working to double its shipments, producing about 40 million cans a month by April.
The Food and Drug Administration is expected to review Johnson & Johnson’s one-shot vaccine Thursday. Dr. Richard Nettles, vice president of medical affairs at J&J, said the company plans to ship more than 20 million doses to the US by the end of March. That means at least 20 million people will be fully vaccinated.
Former Obama administration official, Dr. Kavita Patel told The News with Shepard Smith that a large percentage of the population will be vaccinated, “it will change our lives dramatically.”
“Imagine going back to normal in the summer,” said Patel.