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Governor: Nearly 70% of Connecticut adults have had at least first dose of COVID-19 vaccine

Gov. Ned Lamont said 70% of Connecticut adults will have at least their first dose of a COVID-19 vaccine by Friday during a Thursday afternoon news conference.

Referencing President Joe Biden’s goal of getting 70% of all adults at minimum their first dose of vaccine by July 4, Lamont said, “We’re already there, and we’re going to keep going.”

Approximately 57% of American adults have received at least one dose of the vaccine as of Wednesday, according to Centers for Disease Control and Prevention data.

The Food and Drug Administration is expected to issue an emergency authorization next week allowing use of the Pfizer vaccine by 12- to 15-year-olds. Lamont described how that will affect vaccination efforts in Connecticut.

“We are ordering additional vaccine. We’ll certainly prioritize our mass vaccination centers, knowing these kids often need a parent to drive them through the mass vaccination,” he said. “In particular for those other communities that don’t have access to automobiles, our mobile vans are going to be prioritizing young people, as well. We’ve been knocking on doors, I think we have a good idea of where a lot of these kids are, and we’re going to do everything we can to get the vaccine to them.”

The governor’s Chief Operating Officer Josh Geballe said that every Connecticut college and university has had on-site vaccination clinics at this point, “and we’ll continue to provide additional opportunities if colleges ask for them.”

Lamont also answered questions regarding remote learning and the state’s eviction moratorium. He said families who don't want their children to be in classrooms in person next year will have other options available to them, but he doesn’t expect to order schools to offer remote learning in some way.

“I can’t ask the teachers to do both the remote learning as well as in-person,” he said.

A federal judge struck down a national pandemic eviction moratorium on Wednesday. The decision likely will be appealed. Lamont said Thursday that he’d like Connecticut to continue its own moratorium for another month past May 20.

“We’re trying to work with tenants and landlords that allows people to stay in their homes a lot longer,” he added.

Updated COVID-19 statistics

The state’s latest vaccination numbers show that a total of 3,289,783 doses have been administered, with 1,467,381 people fully vaccinated and 1,939,401 first doses administered.

In Connecticut on Thursday, 711 new COVID-19 cases were detected among 36,968 tests in the prior 24 hours, a positivity rate of 1.92%. Related hospitalizations decreased by nine to 324, while seven additional deaths have pushed the state's toll since the pandemic began in March 2020 to 8,131.

New London County has had 22,134 total cases and 444 deaths so far, and 22 people were hospitalized with the disease in the county Thursday. Lawrence + Memorial Hospital in New London reported that it had 16 COVID-19 patients Thursday; Westerly Hospital had none.

Day Staff Writer Brian Hallenbeck contributed to this report.

s.spinella@theday.com

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