Connecticut allows health care professionals to join vaccine administration efforts


Lilly Weisz ’23

The Connecticut Department of Health informed certain health care professionals that they may participate in administering vaccines in an email on Jan. 13. Recipients were asked to respond by Jan. 15 if they decided to help assist in the vaccination efforts.

COVID-19 vaccines may now be administered by certain Connecticut licensed health care professionals, according to the Connecticut Department of Public Health (CT DPH).

The Department is interested in gathering information regarding individuals who are interested in volunteer or paid opportunities,” the CT DPH wrote in an email sent to health care professionals. “This information will be shared with providers who are hoping to expand their workforce to participate in mass vaccination efforts.”

Permitted professionals now include all physicians as well as physician’s assistants, nurses, nurse midwives, pharmacists, podiatrists, dentists, dental hygienists trained to administer anaesthesia, veterinarians, and some EMTs with specific training.

The CT DPH contacted these health care professionals by email on Jan. 13. They were authorized to administer the vaccines on Dec. 7.

However, malpractice insurance is not being offered in some of the healthcare fields in which professionals may wish to participate in administering vaccines. This can limit the mobilization of vaccine administrators at a time when Connecticut is asking for mass vaccination. Ophthalmologist and Westport resident Dr. Meredith Gershon does not know of private practice offices that have been given malpractice insurance for administering vaccines.

The Ophthalmic Mutual Insurance Company (OMIC), which covers insurance nationally for private ophthalmologists, announced on Jan. 15 that it is offering coverage. However, the issue still stands for other private health care professionals.

“I don’t think we’re allowed to practice medicine without the proper coverage,” Gershon said before OMIC’s announcement. “To the best of my knowledge it’s not a great idea.”

Gershon believes it would be particularly helpful if her office, which specializes in retinas, were able to provide vaccinations due to its majority elder population of patients, many of whom struggle to navigate technology in order to sign up for vaccinations.

Governor Ned Lamont announced that vaccination phase 1b would begin on Jan. 18 and that Connecticut residents older than 75 may begin registering to receive the vaccine.

Lamont initiated the vaccine rollout plan on Dec. 13, 2020.

“This,” he said in the press release from that day, “is a significant moment for our state and our country.”