Report by Paula Antolini, December 14, 2020, 9:39AM EDT
CDC and Connecticut COVID-19 Vaccine Advisory Group’s Science Subcommittee Recommend Immediate Distribution of Vaccine
(HARTFORD, CT) – Governor Ned Lamont today announced that the Connecticut COVID-19 Vaccine Advisory Group’s Science Subcommittee has submitted recommendations to him that the state’s COVID-19 vaccine distribution plan start at the earliest opportunity. The recommendation comes after the subcommittee reviewed all available scientific and trial data from the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA), the FDA’s Vaccine and Related Biological Products Advisory Committee, clinical trial information provided by Pfizer and BioNTech, and peer-reviewed scientific publications about the vaccine and its clinical testing. The Advisory Committee on Immunization Practices of the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) also voted to recommend the vaccine for individuals over 16.
Governor Lamont accepted the subcommittee’s recommendations and is ordering the Connecticut Department of Public Health make all necessary preparations in order for the vaccine to be received as early as Monday, distributed, and allocated shortly thereafter to healthcare institutions and long-term care facilities all over the state.
“This is a significant moment for our state and our country,” Governor Lamont said. “Here in Connecticut, we are incredibly proud to be able to say that the Pfizer team in Groton helped to develop this first vaccine to fight the coronavirus which we know will help to get our communities back to normal. The EUA, combined with this recommendation from our Science Subcommittee, with some of the best scientific and analytical minds in our state, will provide light at the end of the tunnel for our state to emerge from the pandemic. I take these recommendations seriously, and I thank everyone involved with our advisory group for their hard work and dedication to this important cause.”
“We found that the process of developing, reviewing, and authorizing the Pfizer-BioNTech vaccine was rigorous, transparent, and scientifically sound,” the co-chairs of the Science Subcommittee – Jason Schwartz Ph.D. from Yale and David Banach, M.D., MPH from UConn – wrote in their recommendations to the governor. “The subcommittee has full confidence in the integrity of the FDA review and authorization process for this vaccine and the quality of the work performed by FDA scientists, reviewers, and advisory committee members.”
The co-chairs of the Connecticut COVID-19 Vaccine Advisory Group – Public Health Acting Commissioner Dr. Deidre Gifford and Trinity Health President Dr. Reginald Eadie – said of the recommendation, “During a trying year for our state, this recommendation is an important step toward our community having the ability to fight COVID-19 and return our society and institutions to normal. This was a rigorous, time-intensive process meant to understand the science behind the development of the vaccine, and provide confidence to Connecticut residents that our entire advisory group was working to make the best recommendations in the interests of public health.”
Connecticut placed its first order for 31,200 vaccines on Friday, December 4, and the state anticipates delivery to hospitals starting as soon as Monday, December 14. Long-term care facilities across Connecticut have agreements with either Walgreens or CVS for vaccine administration, and distribution is expected to begin Monday, December 21.
The members of the Connecticut COVID-19 Advisory Group’s Science Subcommittee include:
- Roxy Kozyckyj, (Healthcare Distribution Alliance)
- Jody Terranova (American Academy of Pediatrics)
- Danyal Ibrahim (Trinity Health)
- David Banach (UConn Health)
- Jack Ross (Connecticut Infectious Disease Society)
- Albert Ko (Yale School of Public Health)
- Jim Hadler (Yale School of Medicine)
- Jessica Abrantes-Figueiredo (Trinity Health)
- Keith Grant (Hartford HealthCare)
- Richard Martinello (Yale New Haven Health)
- State Representative William Petit (Connecticut House of Representatives)