Wilton residents reminded to exercise patience for vaccine

Photo of J.D. Freda
Bob Coogan, of Wilton, receives a shot of COVID-19 vaccine from nurse Martine Bristhole at the new vaccination clinic set up in the gymnasium of Central High School, in Bridgeport on Jan. 20.

Bob Coogan, of Wilton, receives a shot of COVID-19 vaccine from nurse Martine Bristhole at the new vaccination clinic set up in the gymnasium of Central High School, in Bridgeport on Jan. 20.

Ned Gerard / Hearst Connecticut Media

WILTON — Now that residents 55 and older and teachers are eligible to get the COVID-19 vaccine, town leaders reminded locals to be patient in waiting for their turn.

“610,000 residents statewide became eligible (in Lamont’s latest announcement),” First Selectwoman Lynne Vanderslice said. “Only 131,000 doses were shipped to Connecticut for this week, so residents should expect that it may take three or more weeks for them to receive their first dose.”

Residents ages 45 to 65 currently make the largest percentage share of Wilton’s population at 32 percent. However, that group only accounts for the third-highest percentage share in the total number of positive COVID-19 cases among age groups at 18 percent. Wilton’s highest percentage of positive residents within an age range is residents ages 25 to 44 at 39 percent, followed by residents 15 to 24 at 24 percent.

According to Vanderslice, the number of vaccines allocated for Wilton has dropped since the initial shipments to the town.

“Early on, we received up to 300 first doses,” she said. “Shipments then dropped to 100 first doses plus second doses.”

She did not give a reason as to why the number was cut, but shared what the state Department of Public Health has been advising the town to do during the administration process.

“CT Department of Public Health instructed Wilton to, one, hold all previously scheduled clinics and, two, to work with the Wilton Public Schools, the town’s two private schools and the town’s 27 licensed child care centers to develop plans for vaccinations of their employees during the month of March,” Vanderslice said.

“This is a significantly larger group than we have previously vaccinated within a month, but our team is up to the task,” she added. “We are working with the 30 different groups to determine the number of employees to be vaccinated. CT DPH won’t be shipping all the required at once, so multiple clinics will be required.”

Vanderslice said the town is still developing plans for the administration of vaccines to school staff, teachers and child care providers.

When asked if that group may be having any difficulties in attempting to schedule a vaccination appointment, the first selectwoman said they are eligible for both general public and dedicated clinics. However, all “necessary dedicated clinics can’t be held immediately because of the lack of vaccines,” Vanderslice said. Those clinics may also need to be placed on hold for a period of up to three weeks.

Superintendent of Schools Kevin Smith could not immediately be reached for comment.

Currently, 97 percent of Wilton residents 75 and up have received a first dose, while 64 percent of residents 65 to 74 received a first dose.