Jack P. Carroll ’24
Chief of Staff and Associate Vice President for External Affairs Jason Rojas provided an update on Trinity’s Covid-19 vaccination plan for the student population in an email to the Tripod on Monday, Mar. 1.
In response to questions about Trinity’s plans to distribute the Covid-19 vaccine among students, Rojas informed the Tripod that “We are hopeful to have students return either vaccinated or with a first dose.” Also, Rojas noted that the College has maintained regular contact with Hartford Healthcare “as the vaccine program has been implemented by the state and we have provided information to qualifying employees about the sign-up process.” Furthermore, Rojas indicated that Trinity has not received guidance from the state on vaccines for college students: “The only information that has been shared about the phase that includes students is the age range. We will provide information to students as it becomes available.”
Practice Director of Student Health Services for Campus Care Martha O’Brien did not respond to the Tripod’s request for comment.
In the State of Connecticut, healthcare personnel, medical first responders, educators and child care providers, and individuals over the age of 55 are among those who are currently eligible to receive the Covid-19 vaccine. Those who are within the state’s youngest vaccination age group (individuals 16-34 years old) will be eligible for vaccination starting on Monday, May, 3.
According to data from the Centers for Disease Control, 23.2% of the state’s population (826,089) has received a first vaccination shot and 9% (320,257) have been fully vaccinated at the time this article was written. Also, the CDC reported that 80.7% of vaccine doses shipped to Connecticut have been administered.
The state has recently faced local backlash after Governor Ned Lamont announced that vaccine eligibility would be determined by age group on Monday, Feb. 22. Prior to that announcement, the state’s vaccination plan prioritized residents with underlying medical conditions and people in various fields of work (e.g. grocery stores and agriculture). The Wall Street Journal reported that Connecticut and Maine are the only states in the country to base eligibility by age group.
As reported earlier this month, Connecticut’s vaccination program coincides with Gov. Lamont’s plans to eliminate certain Covid-19 restrictions and reopen businesses starting on Mar. 19. For example, the state will no longer require capacity limits for businesses such as retail, libraries, fitness centers, and places of worship. Also, indoor gathering restrictions for private residences will be revised so that 25 people can meet indoors and 100 people can meet outdoors.
The state’s rollback was announced amidst concerns expressed by the Director of the U.S. National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Disease Anthony Fauci. During a recent panel hosted by Brandeis University, Fauci described state efforts to relax Covid-19 restrictions as “ill advised.” In addition, Fauci stated that “The baseline we’re at right now between 60 and 70,000 cases a day is highly unacceptable for any significant pulling back on mitigation.”
According to data from the state of Connecticut website, a total of 7,704 of people in the state have died from Covid-19 at the time this article was written. Also, the state currently has a total of 285,330 confirmed Covid-19 cases.