CT to focus on vaccinating age groups. Here’s the schedule.

COVID vaccines kept in a refrigerator in the health department at Middletown City Hall.

As Connecticut forges ahead with vaccination efforts, the state released a schedule Monday that prioritizes residents based on age, along with those who work in schools.

The new schedule has vaccines opening up to those people ages 55 to 64 starting March 1, with further expansions for younger groups continuing through May. The plan is different from what Gov. Ned Lamont said it would be earlier this month when the focus was on essential workers and those with preexisiting conditions.

As of March, pre-K and K-12 “school staff and teachers, and professional childcare providers” are expected to become eligible, Lamont announced.

But like most things pandemic-related, navigating the process of getting the shot isn’t always easy. This guide is intended to help clarify the process, and will be updated periodically as new groups become eligible.

Have a question you want to ask, or still not sure how the process works? Email the author at peter.yankowski@newstimes.com.

On Monday, the state shared its plans for when certain age groups would be eligible to get a shot. Here’s what Connecticut is planning for right now:

March 1 — People 55 to 64 are eligible

March 22 — People 45 to 54 are eligible

April 12 — People 35 to 44 are eligible

May 3 — People 16 to 34 are eligible

Right now, Connecticut is only offering the vaccine by appointment.

If you are eligible to get a vaccine in the state (more on that below), you have three options:

Register through the federal vaccine portal, the Vaccine Administration Management System, better known as VAMS. To do that, follow this link to the state’s vaccine website and complete the instructions to create a VAMS account and book an appointment. You will need your own email address. The state’s website has guidelines for VAMS in English and Spanish, but users have complained of a lack of multi-lingual support in VAMS itself. Some local health departments and health care providers (Bristol Health, Griffin Health, Nuvance Health and Trinity Health of New England) are also using VAMS, rather than their own system.

If you prefer to schedule an appointment over the phone, the state has also set up an assistance line available 8 a.m. to 8 p.m. daily (including weekends). The number is 877-918-2224.

The third option is to register for an appointment directly through a health care provider or pharmacy.Check the list below. Your health care provider may also reach out to you directly to schedule an appointment.

Hartford HealthCare: Online, or call 860-827-7690; or toll-free at 833-943-5721.

Yale New Haven Health: Online.

Stamford Health: Online, or call 203-276-7300 (Monday through Friday, 9 a.m. - 4 p.m.).

Middlesex Health (patients can select MyChart or VAMS): Online, or call 860-358-7050 (Monday through Friday, 8 a.m. - 5 p.m.)

The state’s website now also has a searchable map where users can look for a clinic that provides the vaccine nearby. Many of those clinics require an appointment to be scheduled through VAMS.

It depends, and there are two important caveats. Some CVS, Walgreens and Walmart locations around the state are offering the vaccine, but not everywhere. And like getting the vaccine anywhere else, you’ll need an appointment. Here are the links to sign up at one of those locations:

CVS

Walgreens

Walmart

People covered underPhase 1A — front-line medical workers, residents and staff of longterm care facilities (nursing homes, for example), and medical first responders — have now been getting the vaccine for months.

The second group is known as Phase 1B.

Right now, only two “tiers” of Phase 1B are able to get the vaccine: people 75 and older, and as of Feb. 11, those 65 and older.

State officials rolled out a timeline for different age groups’ eligibility and included information on an expansion to teachers and childcare workers, shifting from a focus on essential workers and those with certain preexisting medical conditions.

No. Unless you are eligible under another criteria (65 or older for those not living or working in a congregate setting or nursing home), you’re not eligible to receive the vaccine yet.

The governor previously indicated essential workers would be among those who get the vaccine next.But on Monday, the state announced a plan for vaccinations grouped by residents’ ages. The state also said that teachers and childcare workers would soon be able to get inoculated.

No. Unless you are 65 or older, those with underlying medical conditions are eligible.

Lamont previously stated that front-line essential workers, and people of any age with underlying medical conditions, would be eligible next.

On Feb. 18, Lamont said a full list of the conditions that would make someone eligible for the vaccine would be announced Monday, Feb. 22. Instead, the state shared a timeline Monday for when certain age groups would be able to get vaccinated.

Non-Connecticut residents who work here can get vaccinated in the Nutmeg State when their population group is eligible.

So if you’re a health care worker, a medical first responder, or 65 or older and work or live in Connecticut, you can get the vaccine here. Those who only have their primary doctor in Connecticut, and do not live or work here, are being told to get the vaccine in the state where they live.

Connecticut Media Group