Health | Connecticut Public Radio


Tim Rasmussen / Connecticut Public

Twice this week, unionized workers have shut down streets around the capitol in protest of Gov. Ned Lamont’s state budget plans.

Most recently, long-term care workers and members of New England Health Care Employees Union District 1199, SEIU staged a picket Thursday afternoon outside the state Office of Policy and Management in Hartford. 

There's widespread agreement that it's important to help older adults and people with disabilities remain independent as long as possible. But are we prepared to do what's necessary, as a nation, to make this possible?

That's the challenge President Biden has put forward with his bold proposal to spend $400 billion over eight years on home and community-based services — a major part of his $2 trillion infrastructure plan.

Mason Masteka/flickr creative commons

If you feel like you might have tipped the scale a bit during this pandemic, you’re not alone. A recent study by the American Psychological Association says more than 61% of U.S. adults reported an undesired weight change in the pandemic.

According to the CDC, 42% of adults in the United States are obese and that number is still climbing. 

The contamination of 15 million doses of the Johnson & Johnson coronavirus vaccine will have a knock-on effect on supply in Connecticut from next week, the office of Gov. Ned Lamont said Wednesday.

No vaccine that's already been shipped to the state has been recalled, and the administration says none of the J&J product currently in Connecticut is compromised in any way. But the allocation of fresh J&J doses arriving next week will be just 6,400. Last week the state's allocation was 53,900.

Dr. Khuram Ghumman asks patient Tully Zorick, 5, to hop on one foot during a checkup at East Granby Family Practice, LLC where he is in private practice. Dr. Ghumman takes care of the entire Zorick family.
Cloe Poisson

Every day, Dr. Leslie Miller of Fairfield thinks about selling her practice to a hospital health system.

“Everybody who is in this environment thinks every day of throwing in the towel and joining a hospital,” said Miller, a sole practitioner in primary care for 20 years. “The business side is the problem,” she said, referring to expensive and time-consuming requirements of medical insurance and government regulations.

Yehyun Kim / CT Mirror

Four months ago, even as the coronavirus vaccine was making its way to Connecticut and the promise of protection drew close to reality, nursing homes were weathering another increase in COVID-19 cases.

RN Jenni Eckstrom draws 0.5 ml of the Moderna COVID-19 vaccine as the City of Hartford’s Department of Health and Human Services hosted a vaccine clinic for Hartford residents 75 and over at Dunkin’ Donuts Park in Hartford on February 06, 2021
Joe Amon / Connecticut Public

Connecticut has been among the states leading the pack nationally on vaccinating its residents overall, but deep disparities remain. This hour, we get the latest from Connecticut Public Radio reporters about what’s driving the state’s racial inequities in vaccination rates.

10% of Americans are living with diabetes. Are you one of them? Managing a chronic illness can already be difficult, but managing it during a pandemic can be nearly impossible.

The Biden administration has facilitated for Johnson & Johnson to assume "full responsibility" of a production plant after a mishap botched likely millions of doses-worth of COVID-19 vaccine.

More Than 1,800 People Could Get Vaccinated At Home Under New DPH Program

Apr 1, 2021
Yehyun Kim / CT Mirror

The state launched a homebound vaccination program this week in which local health departments could be tasked with inoculating nearly 2,000 people who are physically unable to get to vaccination clinics.

Updated April 1, 2021 at 6:30 PM ET

Dozens of states are considering Republican-led bills that advocates say are harmful to transgender people. The recent spate of bills are "really challenging to see," says Dr. Rachel Levine, the nation's newly confirmed assistant secretary for health.

COVID-19 may lead to a new and worse form of acute kidney injury. That’s according to Yale School of Medicine in a finding published in the Journal of the American Medical Association this month.

State Outlines Medical Conditions For Priority Access To COVID Vaccine

Mar 29, 2021
Joe Amon / Connecticut Public

Priority access to the COVID-19 vaccine will be extended beginning Thursday to people with sickle cell disease or Down syndrome, those who have received a solid organ transplant or are in the process of being treated for cancer, residents who have end stage renal failure and are on dialysis, and those who are patients of Connecticut Children’s or the Yale New Haven Children’s hospitals, Gov. Ned Lamont’s administration said.

Tony Spinelli / Connecticut Public

Connecticut became the first state in the country Monday to open a COVID-19 mobile vaccination unit in collaboration with the Federal Emergency Management Agency, or FEMA.

The new state-federal partnership is part of a nationwide effort to broaden access to COVID-19 vaccines, especially in vulnerable communities and for residents who may face barriers to getting a shot. 

Guy Walker Wolf III died on February 13th, 2021. He was 77 years old.

There are many ways to describe Guy, but I’d say we who knew him would all agree that he could be described as the captain of his own ship. And he was my stepfather. I’ve known him since I was 11.

Throughout the process of his death at home, I was compelled by the people who were a part of guiding us through it.

So today, I’m gonna introduce you to the people who helped Guy die, and who helped us celebrate him. From the hospice workers who came to the house, to the funeral home director, to the cantor who sang at his mass.

You’ll meet his wife, my mom, and hear about how she made the choices she did, and how it feels to be a new widow. And at the end of the show, you’ll hear a little something from Guy.

Angela N. / Flickr

This hour, how will we remember a year in this pandemic? Grief can often leave us feeling incredibly alone. Especially when haven't been able to gather and commemorate our loss. How will we memorialize the lives and time lost this year?

If you have spent anytime journaling, or reflecting on this year either alone or with family.

Madeline Fall, 25, of Vernon, receives the first dose of the Pfizer vaccine from at Connecticut’s largest drive-through vaccination clinic. “I’m the first one in my family to get this so I kind of feel like a guinea pig," said Fall, a health care worker.
Cloe Poisson /

Connecticut has bucked national trends -- and CDC guidance -- by prioritizing COVID-19 vaccination on a strictly age-based system. Gov. Ned Lamont and his top public health officials have argued this simpler approach is more efficient and equitable -- and now they’ve reinforced that approach by moving up to April 1 the date when everyone over 16 can sign up for a shot. 

But Dr. Saad Omer, the director of the Yale Institute for Global Health, says by leaving out younger, high-risk individuals, Connecticut’s vaccine strategy has already missed the mark.

January 22, 2021: Resident Ray Glaspie 61, is given the vaccine by Nurse Practitioner Geriann Gallagher as Hartford HealthCare launched a mobile vaccine clinic to get the COVID-19 vaccine to vulnerable populations starting at The Open Hearth in Hartford
Joe Amon / Connecticut Public

Some countries and companies have looked into creating vaccine passports to allow those vaccinated against COVID-19 to travel more freely and attend public events. Others say limiting access to vaccinated people is unfair.

Joe Amon / Connecticut Public

The state confirmed Tuesday that a new form of coronavirus first detected in New York has now made its way to Connecticut. 

The variant, called B.1.526, has been detected 44 times, according to information released Thursday through a collaboration among the Yale School of Public Health, Jackson Labs and the state Department of Public Health.

Updated March 23, 2021 at 9:15 AM ET

A safety board overseeing AstraZeneca's COVID-19 vaccine trial is raising concerns about the company's data. In an unusual post-midnight statement, the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases said the Data and Safety Monitoring Board, which monitors the trial, is concerned that "outdated information" may have been included in the trial results.

Joe Amon / Connecticut Public

The state Department of Public Health said Monday that old census data are to blame for inflated COVID-19 vaccine estimates, which wrongly assert that 44 towns across Connecticut gave first doses to their residents aged 75 and older at a rate of more than 100%.

Illustration by Chion Wolf

Imagine feeling like you have glass shards running through your blood, and imagine your doctors don’t believe how much pain you’re in.

Then, imagine you’re in a different body, incapable of feeling any pain at all.

Then, in body number three, you inflict pain on yourself so you can rate it. For science.

Nicole Leonard / Connecticut Public Radio

A new wave of Connecticut residents became eligible for COVID-19 vaccines Friday morning.

Predictably, not everyone could secure an appointment right away, but state officials said they hope accessibility will improve in the coming weeks with bigger shipments of vaccine doses and more vaccinators.   

COVID-19 vaccines have proved effective in Connecticut nursing homes, according to new data from what is reportedly the first study to look at how vaccines work specifically in nursing homes.

HARTFORD, CT - December 14, 2020: Hartford Healthcare workers receive the Pfizer BioNTech COVID-19 vaccine following a press conference at Hartford Hospital announcing the vaccine’s arrival in Connecticut earlier that morning.
Ryan Caron King / Connecticut Public

What will you do once you’re vaccinated? The CDC says people who’ve been vaccinated can gather together.  And grandparents who got the shots can visit with grandchildren.

Connecticut residents may soon be able to return to some type of “normal” now that Gov Lamont has just announced all residents over 16 are eligible for the vaccine starting April 5th, 2021.

We want to hear from you. How will these latest guidelines affect your interactions with relatives/friends?

Under a bankruptcy plan filed late Monday night, Purdue Pharma would pay roughly $500 million in cash up front to settle hundreds of thousands of injury claims linked to the company's role in the deadly opioid epidemic.

The company said additional payments would be spread over the next decade, including installments on roughly $4.2 billion promised by members of the Sackler family who own the firm.

Joe Amon / Connecticut Public

Chris Comfort says that at the start of the pandemic, Lawrence and Memorial Hospital in New London didn’t see a lot of COVID-19 patients. But he and other nurses on the medical-surgical unit kept their eyes on the scene unfolding at Greenwich Hospital at the other end of the state.

Vaccinate Fair Haven
Allison Minto / Connecticut Public

Volunteers slowly filed into the main lobby of Fair Haven Community Health Center on Grand Avenue in New Haven. They checked in at the door and then moved along to different stations for supplies.

In this case, that would be clipboards, bags of new surgical masks, hand sanitizer and T-shirts that say Vaccinate Fair Haven or Vacunate Fair Haven. 

Connecticut Moves Up Its Vaccine Rollout

Mar 15, 2021
A Hartford HealthCare worker administers a COVID-19 vaccine
Ryan Caron King / Connecticut Public

Gov. Ned Lamont said Monday that he is accelerating the timetable for Connecticut’s coronavirus vaccine rollout, opening eligibility to people 45 to 54 on Friday, and then to everyone 44 and younger beginning April 5.

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention updated data over the weekend that originally incorrectly logged tens of thousands of COVID-19 vaccine shots in Connecticut. The fix now places the state ahead of the national average on two key COVID-19 vaccination metrics.