Written by By Dr. Stephanie Paulmeno, DNP, RN, NHA, CPH, CCM, CDPPublic Health Education Specialist at the Greenwich Department of Health
The Connecticut Department of Public Health has issued a statement and eligibility guidelines for the Pfizer vaccine booster, as well as places where you can find a vaccine site near you (www.htps://ct.gov/covidvaccine).
Connecticut has long boasted a good track record on the numbers of people getting vaccinated against COVID-19, but we have pockets of unvaccinated and vulnerable people. At this time, 68.2 % of Connecticut’s total population is fully vaccinated, while 75.6% of us have had at least one vaccine dose. Connecticut ranks # 4 in the country as being a high vaccine state. In Greenwich 66.3% of us are fully vaccinated and 71.7% are partially protected. This puts Greenwich just below the State as a whole. If your vaccine was Johnson & Johnson, your single dose vaccine
makes you fully vaccinated.
With Dr. Walensky, Director of the CDC, expanding the recommendation of the Advisory Committee on Immunization Practices (APIC); those 65 and older, as well as those identified groups of people between the ages
of 18 to 64 who have a high risk for contracting COVID-19 due to health conditions &/or their type of work or
work locations, can now get their booster shots of the Pfizer vaccine if their original vaccine was also Pfizer.
The PfizerBioNTech vaccine remains the only FDA and CDC-approved COVID-19 vaccine, and now both
agencies have authorized a Pfizer booster shot for specified groups who are at least six-months past the completion of their initial 2-dose series: Moderna and Johnson & Johnson are still in the queue awaiting FDA approval, and will then undoubtedly apply for booster status. The Center for Infectious Disease Research and Policy (CIDRAP.umn.edu, 2021) references several science-based studies supporting both a good booster-effect from a third dose, as well as the diminishing vaccine effectiveness after about 6-months.
Governor Lamont noted that his administration has been actively working towards this booster rollout. We have an adequate supply of vaccines, and Connecticut is ready with nearly 800 vaccination sites prepared to administer vaccines next week. All of our vaccines have proven to be highly effective in reducing COVID hospitalizations,
ICU placements, and death, which is a remarkable set of outcomes. It continues to hold true that about 99% of
those with COVID who get hospitalized, intubated, placed in ICU, or who die, are our unvaccinated friends and
loved ones. Any COVID death while we have vaccines to prevent that is an unspeakable tragedy.
Your public health experts (https://www.greenwichct.gov/575/Health-Department) urge you to get vaccinated, get your booster shot when your turn arrives, wear your masks when indoors, wash your hands often, and maintain social separation.
The Connecticut Department of Public Health (www.CT.gov) notes that of the 169 municipalities in Connecticut, 81 are at the “red zone alert level” meaning they have high community spread. Greenwich is currently in the “orange zone alert level”, signifying significant community spread. You are urged to maintain your precautions as this rating can fluctuate up or down quite easily and quite quickly.