"V" Is For Vaccine: News and Resources on the COVID-19 Vaccine

The availability of a safe and effective COVID-19 vaccine is an exciting development in the fight to get the pandemic under control--and welcome news for Council 4 members and other frontline workers have borne the brunt of COVID-19 since the beginning of the pandemic

While we have the promise of vaccines, and a commitment from the new Biden administration to provide a coordinated response, it will be months before the current surge ends. We can’t let up when it comes to following health and safety protocols at work and at home. 

That’s the advice from an AFSCME front-liner: Lori Tavares, a registered nurse and president of Local 1303-397, Stonington School Nurses Union.

“Right now the focus is on the vaccine, but we still need to take precautions and look out for each other,” Tavares observed. “In addition to wearing your mask and social distancing, please protect yourself, your loved ones, and your community by signing up for your COVID 19 vaccine when it’s available.”

She added, “When literature states that the Covid-19 vaccine is 95% effective, it means that you have a 95% chance of not catching the virus. This also means that we will all need to continue to protect ourselves and those around us to avoid the other 5% percent of the time by continuing basic infection control measures such as frequently washing hands and not touching our eyes and face.”

Vaccine Information & Resources:
This vaccine-focused news and resource center is designed to build upon our union’s continued efforts to help protect our members’ physical and mental health throughout the continuing pandemic.

General Vaccine Information
Connecticut has prepared for the authorization and distribution of COVID-19 vaccines and is currently in Phase 1a. The state’s goal is for all residents of Connecticut to have access to the vaccination, although this will likely not occur until late Spring or early Summer 2021. Many Council 4 members fall into either Phase 1a or 1b based on their responsibilities as front-line personnel.

Phase 1a
Connecticut is currently in for Phase 1a of vaccine roll-out. Those eligible to receive vaccine, based on the Advisory Committee on Immunization Practices (ACIP) recommendations, are:

  • Healthcare Personnel
  • Long Term Care Facility Residents
  • First Responders at risk of exposure to COVID-19

Phase 1b
Three primary groups will be eligible for the vaccine in Phase 1b:  

  • Front line essential workers 
  • Individuals and staff in congregate settings
  • Individuals 75 years of and older (please see additional info below)

Based on this initial overview of eligible groups, the State planned to enter Phase 1b during the month of January, 2021.

Phase 1c and Summer/Fall Phases
Vaccinations for eligible members of the general public are not expected to begin until this summer. Residents should know that vaccinations are expected to be available where you would regularly get vaccinated: at pharmacies, doctors’ offices, community health clinics, local health clinics, and through other providers.

Governor’s Vaccine Advisory Group
The Governor’s COVID-19 Vaccine Advisory Group advises the governor on preparations for a COVID-19 vaccine, including the optimization of a statewide vaccine distribution strategy, and communicating critical medical information about the vaccine with the state’s residents. Meetings are open to the public and available to watch online at https://ct-n.com/.   

 Additional Resources:

  • Click here to learn more about the COVID-19 vaccine in CT
  • Click here for FAQs about the vaccination in Connecticut
  • Click here for the flyer, “8 Things To Know About the U.S. COVID-19 Vaccination Program”
  • Click here for the flyer, “Facts About the COVID-19 Vaccine”
  • Click here for the AFSCME video, "Answering Your COVID-19 questions"