AARP AARP States Connecticut Caregiving

The COVID-19 Vaccine Distribution Plan in Connecticut

En español | Who can get vaccinated now?

  • Adults 55 and older
  • Residents and staff of long-term care facilities, including nursing homes, assisted living communities and rehab hospitals; and residents and staff of select congregate settings, including halfway homes, inpatient mental health facilities, corrections facilities and others
  • Health care personnel, medical first responders, in-person educators and childcare providers
A health care worker receives a COVID-19 vaccine at 
the Hartford Convention Center.
A health care worker receives a COVID-19 vaccine at the Hartford
Convention Center.

Where can I get vaccinated?

  • Your medical provider. Some health care providers registered in the state’s vaccination program are contacting adults who qualify for a vaccination due to their age to schedule an appointment. If you’ve been contacted, work with that provider to ensure you get an appointment scheduled.
  • Mass vaccination sites will launch at the state’s tribal casinos and Sacred Heart University in the coming weeks, officials say, to help vaccinate more people. One is already operating at the former Pratt & Whitney Airfield in East Hartford – reserve an appointment via the VAMS.
  • Retail pharmacy chains, including CVS, Walgreens and Walmart, have their own online scheduling systems, where you can search for appointments across their multiple vaccination sites. You’ll need to create an account with your name and email to get a vaccine through Walmart.
  • Through your employer or living facility. Most residents who qualify for a vaccination because of their job, such as health care workers, or because of where they live, such as a nursing home, are being vaccinated through their workplaces or the facilities where they reside. Check with your employer or residence before scheduling a vaccination appointment.
  • Call the state’s COVID vaccine appointment line at 877-918-2224 for help scheduling an appointment. The line is taking calls from 8 a.m. to 8 p.m. ET every day and offers a callback option when all specialists are busy.
  • Vaccine supplies are limited everywhere and available only to those now eligible under each state’s phased plan. Most vaccine sites require you to schedule an appointment online or by phone. Appointments can be very hard to get, as available time slots are booked quickly, and you may experience long wait times on the phone. If a time slot is not available, you may be put on the site’s waiting list. Some people are signing up at multiple sites to increase their chances of getting an appointment. Once you have a confirmed appointment, public health officials ask that you don’t schedule or confirm another with any other provider so that vaccine appointments stay open for others.

AARP recommends that you ask your doctor about the safety, effectiveness, benefits and risks of the coronavirus vaccine. Older adults, especially those with underlying medical conditions, are at increased risk for hospitalization and death from COVID-19.

What should I bring to my vaccination appointment?

Some vaccination sites ask for proof of identity or eligibility. Officials recommend that you bring a driver’s license or other state-issued ID that shows your name, age and state residency, and your health insurance card, if you have one. You will not be charged, but the vaccine provider may bill your insurer a fee for administering the vaccine.

If you are eligible due to an underlying medical condition or comorbidity, you may need a note from your doctor or some other form of proof. If you are eligible on the basis of your work, bring proof of employment such as a pay stub, badge or letter from your employer.

The U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) says to wear a mask at your appointment.

Who will be eligible to get vaccinated next?

Adults ages 45 to 54 are expected to become eligible on March 22, followed by those 35 to 44 on April 12, and people 16 and older on May 3.   

AARP is fighting for older Americans to be prioritized in getting one of the COVID-19 vaccines because the science shows that older people are at higher risk of death from the coronavirus.

How are residents of nursing homes and other long-term care facilities getting vaccinated?

Most residents and staff of long-term care facilities in Connecticut are being vaccinated through a federal program that contracted with CVS and Walgreens to administer the two-dose COVID-19 vaccines at free on-site clinics. 

Nationally, almost all nursing homes, which were given first priority, have completed their vaccination clinics. Most assisted living and other long-term care facilities are conducting their final clinics. All the vaccination clinics are slated to wrap up by late March.

I’ve heard that some vaccines require a second shot.

The COVID-19 vaccines from Pfizer and Moderna require two doses. If you get one of these, you’ll need a follow-up dose to be effectively immunized. The recommended second-shot date is three weeks after a first dose of the Pfizer vaccine and four weeks for Moderna’s, but the CDC says an interval of up to six weeks is acceptable. You should get a card from your provider saying when and where to return for the second dose. The state says it will send reminders via text, emails and phone calls.  

Johnson & Johnson’s vaccine requires just one shot. 

It’s not yet known how long immunity from a coronavirus vaccine lasts and whether it needs to be administered on a regular basis like a flu shot.

Do I have to pay for the vaccination?  

You should not have any out-of-pocket cost for getting the vaccine. AARP fought to make sure the federal government is covering the cost of the vaccine itself. Providers can recoup a fee for administering the shot, but not from consumers. They would be reimbursed by the patient’s insurance company or the government (in the case of Medicare and Medicaid beneficiaries and the uninsured, for example).

Scammers are purporting to offer COVID vaccines and treatments and trying to charge for them. AARP's Fraud Watch Network is tracking the latest scams.

Should I still wear a mask after getting vaccinated?  

Yes. Experts still need to learn more about the protection the vaccines provide under “real-world conditions,” the CDC says. It could take your body a few weeks to build up immunity after the second dose.

The vaccine is just one tool that can help slow the spread of the coronavirus. The CDC says it could take months for the population to build up immunity and continues to recommend preventive measures such as face masks and social distancing.

In addition, it’s not yet clear how effective the vaccines are against new, more contagious strains of the coronavirus initially identified in the United Kingdom, South Africa, Brazil and elsewhere, although they would still provide some protection.

 Helpful Resources

  • Vaccine Administration Management System User Manual. The state has created an in-depth user manual for vaccine recipients trying to navigate the VAMS. Learn how to create and activate an account, schedule a vaccination appointment, cancel or reschedule an appointment, or get extra help.

  • Transportation Resources to Help You Get to Your COVID-19 Vaccination Appointments. The Southwestern, North Central and Eastern Agencies on Aging have created lists of public and private transportation options in their regions.
  • How to Detect COVID-19 Scams. AARP Connecticut has created a one-page flyer that outlines how common COVID-19 scams work and how you can detect them.
  • COVID-19 Vaccine Distribution in Connecticut. The Connecticut Department of Public Health has launched a website featuring the state's COVID-19 vaccine-related data. Explore vaccination rates by age group, race/ethnicity, sex, county, Social Vulnerability Index and more.

This guide, originally published Jan. 21, was updated March 4 with new information on the status of vaccinations in long-term care facilities.

gray divider line

WATCH: AARP’s CEO on Fighting for Your COVID-19 Vaccination

AARP CEO Jo Ann Jenkins

Also of Interest 

About AARP Connecticut
Contact information and more from your state office. Learn what we are doing to champion social change and help you live your best life.