Connecticut plans to distribute $13 million in federal COVID-19 relief funds to 27 municipalities and local health departments to help reach residents who haven't yet been vaccinated, Gov. Ned Lamont said Monday.
While touting CDC data that shows the state is the first in the U.S. to have more than 50% of adults age 18 and older fully vaccinated, the Democrat said there continues to be a slowdown in the rate of vaccinations.
"You can tell it's not going up as quickly any longer," Lamont said.
"So what we are doing is reinforcing our messaging," he added. "That's the $13 million of federal support that's going to go out to messaging, going out to door-knocking, going out telephone calls, working with our amazing local public health departments and community support groups, making an extra effort right now to do everything we can to convince those that are maybe a little hesitant ... that this is the time to do it."
Earlier this month, the Connecticut Department of Public Health requested applications from local health districts and departments for the grant funding. Each applicant was required to describe ways their partnerships with community and medical provider groups planned to address vaccine equity in their coverage areas across the state.
"We are hopeful that through this program we are going to see the equity gap close as we strive toward our goal of a statewide vaccination rate of 80 to 85% or better," said Dr. Deidre Gifford, the acting public health commissioner, in a statement.
As of Monday, nearly 1.4 million Connecticut residents have been fully vaccinated.
Meanwhile, the state continues to see new cases. Since Friday, there have been more than 1,300 confirmed or probable COVID-19 infections. The number of hospitalizations, however, dropped by 41 to 342. Meanwhile, there have been 15 additional COVID-associated deaths since Friday, for a total of 8,112 people.