TRENTON, NJ -- Governor Phil Murphy announced that New Jersey has distributed over a half-million doses of the COVID vaccine during his coronavirus briefing in Trenton on Friday.
The Governor said that 500,222 doses have now been administered statewide, including 65,583 doses to long-term care facility residents and staff. He added that last Wednesday, the number was just over 250,000.
Murphy explained that there are two separate categories for vaccines in New Jersey: Vaccines distributed via federal pharmacy program partners CVS Pharmacy and Walgreens, which control and administer at long-term care facilities and other congregant living centers covered under the federal program; and vaccines the state of New Jersey controls – the roughly 100,000 first doses that the state has been receiving every week.
"We’ve been able to get between 50-70 percent, depending on the day, of the vaccines we control into the arms of our residents," Murphy said. "Our pharmacy partners are only distributing around 10 percent."
"We have built a vaccine infrastructure that can handle this job. We need the doses. I have complete faith that the Biden Administration will get us to where we need to be," he said. "I understand the anxiety of residents who are waiting to be vaccinated. Frontline workers go to work every day not knowing if they’re going to be exposed. Older residents and those with chronic conditions have been living in isolation for protection."
"Our goal is to ensure that every New Jerseyan who raises their hand to be vaccinated gets vaccinated. We're providing as much as possible of the limited vaccine supply in our control to the sites with the largest capacity," Murphy said.
State Health Commissioner Judy Persichilli reported that two people with the COVID-19 UK variant have been identified in the state. One is an Ocean County man who said he had not traveled outside the country. His symptoms have been resolved, and he was never hospitalized. The second was a young traveler who is asymptomatic. Persichilli also said that appointments are required for vaccines and that there are more people who want to be vaccinated than the state has on hand.
During the briefing, Governor Murphy announced a new phone number, (855) 568-0545, that will go live Monday morning to provide guidance about where to get COVID shots.
"We built the infrastructure we need, from the ground up, for an aggressive vaccination push. All we need are the millions of doses we’ve been promised. I am much more confident than I was on Tuesday that we’ll get there," Murphy said.
"Within the next couple weeks, our total number of vaccinations will surpass the total number of residents who have tested positive for COVID-19. We must keep up with our social distancing, wearing our masks, washing our hands, and using simple common sense," he added.