Connecticut is “de-complicating” and adopting West Virginia’s vaccination model…

“Essentiality” and “equity” are hard to administer, get gamed and clog the system.

Earlier in the month, we asked:

So, why is West Virginia kicking other states butts?
And, why aren’t other states imitating WV’s approach?

The essence of West Virginia’s successful strategy:

  1. Be prepared … anticipate a vaccine sooner rather than later
  2. Set clear objectives … save lives, grow the herd
  3. Own the problem … act instead of complaining
  4. Keep It Simple … prioritize by age; minimize IT dependence
  5. Make bold decisions … be contrarian when necessary


The WSJ reports that Connecticut is adopting the essence of the West Virginia model.

Concluding that complexity is the enemy of speed, Gov. Ned Lamont declared “We’re going to focus on the old business motto, KISS: Keep it simple, stupid.”

Specifically, Lamont recognized that the more states prioritize work “essentiality” and social “equity,” the more complicated and inequitable vaccine distribution becomes.

So, Connecticut is starting to base Covid-19 vaccine eligibility strictly on age.

See WSJ: Start sequencing vaccinations from oldest to youngest … period!


Connecticut had planned to vaccinate “essential workers”, younger people with underlying health conditions like diabetes and minorities.

Immediately, definitional creep exploded.

For example, the CDC said grocery and food service workers should get priority.

“So, we started getting calls: What about convenience stores and box stores? They sell food.”

The CDC said that obesity should be a priority.

“So, people started wondering: Should I bulk up on doughnuts to meet the public-health definition of obesity?”

Lamont concluded: “A lot of complications result from trying to finely slice the salami and it got very complicated to administer.”

People of all races develop more health conditions as they age, and their immune systems weaken.

But, decisions about who is or isn’t an “essential worker” are completely arbitrary.

And, while minorities have significantly higher Covid death rates than whites, outcomes differ far more by age than race or underlying conditions.

A 58-year-old black retiree is 10 times more likely to die from the virus than a 40-year-old black worker.

The simple solution: Prioritize by age and set up more inoculation sites in low-income communities to improve vaccine access.


The WSJ concludes: “Bravo to Mr. Lamont for thinking of the larger public good, and understanding that simple can be smart.”

Now, maybe more “smart” states will concede that they got outsmarted and start following West Virginia’s lead. mitigating  the current vaccine-chase folly: constantly changing eligibility rules, persistent web-checking,  link sharing,  remote venue access, fake IDs, etc.

It’s not too late and it might happen, but I’m betting the under ….

One Response to “Connecticut is “de-complicating” and adopting West Virginia’s vaccination model…”

  1. Dennis Cavanaugh Says:

    Hi again, Ken. I have enjoyed your analyses of the vaccine and pandemic. Would you consider doing an analysis of the “minimum wage”. My point of view is that there are three issues. 1. Each state sets their minimum wage and in general the wage is much higher than the federal minimum wage. 2. The minimum wage is an entry level, minimum skills wage. 3. Each state sets the minimum wage based on conditions, costs, demands in their states. What isn’t being said, and what people should know is what % of workers making under $15 per hour are actually making the minimum federal wage. As a former restaurant owner I can attest to the inflationary impact of a mandatory increase in minimum wage. There is an immediate increase in menu prices and often a decrease in portion sizes. In addition, an increase in minimum wage tends to push up wages across the board in small businesses. This leads to inflation.
    Dennis Cavanaugh

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: