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When Will the Johnson & Johnson Vaccine Reach Connecticut?

February 26, 2021

Here comes the Johnson & Johnson vaccine. After Friday’s endorsement by a Food and Drug Administration panel review and an expected quick emergency use authorization, the first shipment of the one-dose COVID-19 vaccine could arrive in Connecticut within days.

“The state of Connecticut has let us know that if the emergency use authorization is received,” said Eric Arlia, Hartford HealthCare’s Senior Director of Pharmacy at a morning media briefing, “there is a possibility we will receive some doses in the middle of next week at the earliest.”

Arlia said he was unsure how many doses would reach Hartford HealthCare, but Janssen Pharmaceuticals, the drug development division of Johnson & Johnson, has projected 20 million doses nationally by the end of March. That could mean up to 200,000 doses for Connecticut, Arlia said.

That type of initial shipment would greatly accelerate vaccine distribution in the state: Hartford HealthCare has administered 86,000 first doses since mid-December.

“That would be more than twice the total we’ve been given,” said Arlia, “and that’s just their production goals for the month of March. So it’s really exciting.”

Connecticut currently ranks sixth nationally in COVID-19 vaccinations, administering more than 83 percent of doses distributed to the state.

Teachers and state residents age 55 and older become eligible for vaccination March 1. Age-group eligibility expands every three weeks until, starting May 3, residents 16 to 34 can get vaccinated.

Here are the latest eligibility-by-age updates:

  • March 1: 55 to 64 years old.
  • March 22: 45 to 54 years old.
  • April 12: 35 to 44 years old.
  • May 3: 16 to 34 years old.

Anyone in an eligible group can get vaccinated at a Hartford HealthCare vaccine clinic. An appointment is required to ensure safety. Supplies remain limited, so please check your MyChartPlus account frequently to make an appointment at a Hartford HealthCare vaccine clinic. (Appointments will increase as supplies permit.) If you don’t have a MyChartPlus account, set one up on Hartford HealthCare’s MyChartPlus.org website.

If you’d prefer to schedule your appointment by phone, call the Hartford HealthCare Access Center at 860.827.7690 or toll-free at 833.943.5721.

New vaccine “mega sites” now open:

  • 1 Liberty Square in New Britain.
  • Central High School at 1 Lincoln Boulevard in Bridgeport.

The following sites open in early March:

  • Oakdale Theatre, 95 South Turnpike Road, Wallingford.
  • Foxwoods Casino, Mashantucket.
  • Sacred Heart University, 5151 Park Ave., Fairfield.
  • Xfinity Theatre, 61 Savitt Way, Hartford.

For a full list of vaccine sites, and hours of opened locations, click here.

As vaccine availability increases, COVID’s spread continues to slow. With the COVID-19 positivity rate at about 2 percent in the state, Hartford HealthCare has only 110 COVID-positive patients, down from more than 300 in late January, said Dr. Ajay Kumar, Hartford HealthCare‘s Chief Clinical Officer. Dr. Kumar said people should have no doubts about safety in Emergency Departments or acute-care hospitals.

“So the signs are very positive,” he said. “I’m really excited and very optimistic right now as to where we are in the journey of this pandemic. We’re in a really good place right now.”