Editorial: Congratulations CT, you’ve done pretty well getting vaccinated

Carly Plymel, RN, preps a dose of the Pfizer COVID-19 vaccine at the Stamford Health Vaccination Super Site in Stamford, Conn. Tuesday, April 6, 2021.

Carly Plymel, RN, preps a dose of the Pfizer COVID-19 vaccine at the Stamford Health Vaccination Super Site in Stamford, Conn. Tuesday, April 6, 2021.

Tyler Sizemore / Hearst Connecticut Media

Connecticut is routinely cited for having the widest wealth gap in the nation, so it deserves a shout-out for success in closing an equally perilous divide.

News this week of a welcome spike in the number of weekly COVID vaccine doses administered in the state is a reminder to consider the bigger picture.

Connecticut, you’ve done pretty well getting vaccinated.

On one recent week, 100,000 booster doses alone were administered. Aside from activities involving pizza or coffee, it’s hard to ever get 100,000 people to do the same thing.

Think about the overall numbers. About 71 percent of state residents have been fully vaccinated.

If only voter turnout on Election Day could be this good. Town registrars celebrate when they get 30 percent of eligible voters. All that means is that 70 percent stayed home and many more couldn’t even be bothered to register.

Yes, we’d like those vaccine numbers to be higher, but it’s worth pausing to celebrate that compared with the rest of the nation, Connecticut is at the top of the leader board with Vermont and Rhode Island.

Too many other states haven’t even reached the halfway mark. We’re looking at you, Alabama, Arkansas, Georgia, Idaho, Louisiana, Mississippi, North Dakota, Tennessee, West Virginia (in last place at 41 percent) and Wyoming.

The latest Connecticut surge is a recorded 114,880 vaccine doses administered in the week leading to Halloween. It’s the highest number in five months, a time when there was still considerable demand.

The rise is attributed to newly approved booster shots and federal regulators backing booster shots from a different manufacturer.

But the remaining gap still needs to be closed.

First of all, there’s the glaring 8 percent of residents who got a first shot but have yet to get a second. They’re like people who made it to the voting booth but still can’t make up their mind.

More importantly is getting newly eligible children vaccinated. Anyone on the fence about this decision would be wise to consider the dramatic rise in COVID cases during the 2020 holiday season, when many family members were reunited after several months.

Gov. Ned Lamont acknowledged Monday that drawing kids to get vaccinated isn’t as easy as recruiting their grandparents.

“It’s not like us (age) 65-plus who were rushing to the gate on day one,” said Lamont, 67. “I think a lot of parents are going to take a little more of a wait-and-see (approach), but I can tell you that there are thousands of kids getting vaccinated in this state every day and that’s a good thing.”

Early numbers for vaccinations among children ages 5-11 offer promise. Several locations around the state reported vaccination slots were quickly booked.

As we learned in the spring, that momentum is not sustainable. So this is the time to serve as role models for children and grandchildren. And, oh yes, to keep showing the rest of the nation what Connecticut can do.