Wilton cuts back on COVID clinics as town vaccination rates rise

Bob Coogan, of Wilton, receives a shot of COVID-19 vaccine from nurse Martine Bristhole at a Bridgeport vaccination clinic set up in the gymnasium of Central High School in January of this year.

Bob Coogan, of Wilton, receives a shot of COVID-19 vaccine from nurse Martine Bristhole at a Bridgeport vaccination clinic set up in the gymnasium of Central High School in January of this year.

Ned Gerard / Hearst Connecticut Media

WILTON — The town’s COVID-19 vaccination rates per age group are higher than the state’s averages, according to the most recent data from the state Department of Public Health, and First Selectwoman Lynne Vanderslice said demand “just hasn’t been there” to continue weekly town clinics.

As of July 14, Wilton is estimated to have 74.9 percent of its population at least partially vaccinated, or 13,733 total residents, according to DPH statistics. Concurrently, 68.9 percent of Wilton residents, or 12,648 total residents, are accounted for as being fully vaccinated.

The town’s vaccination clinics, hosted by the Wilton Health Department and the Visiting Nurse & Hospice of Fairfield County, were considered very successful early on and were a constant in the community while new age groups were being considered eligible for the vaccine throughout the early portion of 2021.

When the first age group, those over 65, was deemed eligible by Gov. Ned Lamont, Wilton’s eldest population responded quickly to sign up for the vaccine. To date, an estimated 3,048 Wilton residents over the age of 65 have had at least one dose of the vaccine, while 2,880 have been fully vaccinated. Because the state DPH uses post-censal town population estimates that are based on data that dates back to 2014, the number of vaccinated residents over the age of 65 exceeds the estimated population of the age group; therefore, no relative percentage of the town’s over-65 population could be calculated.

The state’s vaccination average for the over-65 age group is 85.6 percent.

However, as the age groups decrease, the data provides more detailed percentage estimates of Wilton residents vaccinated.

For residents between the ages of 45 and 64, the estimated Wilton population stands at 6,127. Up to July 14, an estimated 5,095 residents in the age group have received at least one dose of the coronavirus vaccination, or 83.2 percent. Out of that total, 4,755 residents are fully vaccinated, or 77.6 percent.

The state’s vaccination rate for the 45 to 64 age group is 74 percent.

As younger age groups began to earn eligibility through the state’s planned rollout, a large percentage of residents fell into the next age range of 16 to 44.

In Wilton, there is an estimated population of 5,053 that fall into this age range, according to the DPH. Out of those 5,000-plus residents, 4,585 residents, or 90.7 percent, have received at least one dose of the COVID-19 vaccine. About 4,118 residents, or 81.5 percent of individuals in that age group, are fully vaccinated.

This is a stark jump from the state’s average in this age range, which sits just below 58 percent, according to the DPH.

In the 12 to 15 age range, roughly 1,003 of the town’s 1,470 estimated population have received at least one dose of the vaccine, representing 68.2 percent. Those who are fully vaccinated represent 60.8 percent, or 894 total residents.

These numbers are again above the state average in this age range, which hovers just above 40 percent.

The first selectwoman said that those still seeking vaccinations can go to drug stores like CVS and larger health organizations in the area, such as Stamford Health, to make an appointment.

As for the town’s future in reopening any form of regular clinic again, Vanderslice said the only thing can anticipate is offering a space to provide residents with boosters for the vaccine, if the state were to move in that direction.

“That is (one of) the outstanding questions, if it were to come about,” Vanderslice said. “We’d probably do some facilitation of the senior population (in Wilton).