'Tremendously important to get the vaccine distributed': Ridgefield starts vaccinations

First Selectman Rudy Marconi is an advocate of mask wearing. Mosst Ridgefielders do it, he says.

First Selectman Rudy Marconi is an advocate of mask wearing. Mosst Ridgefielders do it, he says.

Macklin Reid / Hears Connecticut Media

The state’s vaccination program is currently underway, but First Selectman Rudy Marconi said it has a long way to go in terms of reaching the general public.

“We have a lot of questions that come up from people in town,” Marconi said. “And unfortunately, we just don’t have the information from the state or the federal government. We’re given ball parks relative to the timeline and that the general public will be late spring/early summer.”

In the meantime, the state determines the prioritization and timeline for the vaccine roll out and will inform the Ridgefield Health Department when doses will be available for each category. A small amount of Ridgefield’s front line workers and first responders have already begun receiving the vaccine.

Marconi said the town hasn’t received anything directly to the community but the police and fire departments were working with Danbury Hospital and several other locations around the state to vaccinate the first responders.

“It’s tremendously important to get the vaccine distributed and out to the people as soon as possible,” Marconi said. “It’s already been proved to be effective in preventing the spread of the virus and we need it A.S.A.P. and that goes without saying.”

The State has designated priority groups, or tiers, for each group to be vaccinated.

Priority 1a is the first group. The vaccination is currently underway and is expected to continue through January into early February. This group includes healthcare personnel, long-term care facility residents and first responders at risk of exposure to COVID-19 by responding to medical emergencies, such as emergency medical technicians, police officers and firefighters.

This phase doesn’t include healthcare personnel that do not have the potential for direct or indirect exposure to patients or infectious materials, for example, those who are teleworking or conducting telehealth communication.

“There are a lot of questions related to the distribution,” Marconi said. “We were told on a regular basis how many doses have been administered but we’re not told how many doses do we need in order to fulfill the Phase 1a distribution.”

Those who will be eligible for vaccination in upcoming phases between January and May have not been finalized. They’re expected to include critical workforce, other congregate settings, adults over 65 and high-risk individuals under 65.

Following these groups, the vaccines will be made available to the general public. This is expected to occur by the summer with availability and timing depending on the manufacturers’ ability to provide vaccines.

The Ridgefield Vaccination Program will issue ongoing statements and directions for each priority group as directives are received from the state.

“The goal is to ensure a coordinated and effective vaccination program is provided to all,” town officials said in a statement.

Ridgefield will continue to provide vaccination information on the town website, as well as other community locationsin an effort to keep everyone informed and aware of who can be vaccinated. Questions can also be sent to pio@ridgefieldct.org.

People can also monitor the CT COVID Vaccination program at ct.gov/covidvaccine/access.