TRENTON, NJ — With more than four million New Jersey residents now eligible for the coronavirus vaccine — including 1.5 million who have preregistered to get the shot — there are not enough doses to keep up with demand, according to state officials.

The state is receiving about 100,000 doses weekly from the federal supply, which currently is being administered at some 160 vaccination sites throughout New Jersey — a number that will increase to nearly 260 locations in coming weeks.

To date, more than 310,000 doses have been administered — 60% receiving their first doses and 50% of them coming back for the required second dose of either the Pfizer-BioNTech or Moderna vaccination.

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“With the expansion of eligibility into more categories, there are now many more people who can get vaccinated, but the [federal] vaccine supply is still extremely limited, and will be for some time,” said state Health Commissioner Judith Persichilli at the state’s COVID-19 press briefing on Jan15. “There will be more vaccine with each coming week. We urge everyone to be patient. Understanding everyone's desire to get vaccinated as soon as possible, we understand that people are anxious.”

Earlier this week, the state opened preregistration for the vaccine to persons age 65 and older, as well as those age 16 to 64 with qualifying health conditions, including smokers. They joined the state’s high-priority list of eligible individuals, which include health care workers, residents and employees of long-term care facilities, law enforcement professionals and firefighters.

With 1.5 million already preregistered on the state’s vaccine scheduling system, more than 66,000 emails have been sent to individuals to schedule appointments and 10,371 have already done so, Persichilli reported.

“We are continuing to expand our network of dispensing sites, including the six mega sites in every region, to accommodate large numbers of people at one site. As vaccine supply increases, additional slots will become available for people to make appointments,” she said. “The New Jersey vaccine scheduling system will notify those who have preregistered in batches so that they can now schedule their appointments.”

On Jan 15, the state opened its third and fourth mega-sites — at the Edison-based New Jersey Exposition and Convention Center in Middlesex County and Moorestown Mall in Burlington County. Two additional mega-sites are expected to open next week in Atlantic County at the Atlantic City Convention Center and in Bergen County at the Meadowlands Complex, East Rutherford. None are planned for Monmouth or Ocean Counties.

While Persichilli added that some dispensing sites are not participating in the state’s scheduling system, she did not identify them but said that a list of locations throughout New Jersey can at found at covid19.nj.gov/vaccine (click here). However, no appointments are available at this time at most of these locations due to the limited supply of the vaccine.

Officials want to administer up to 2,000 vaccines per day at the Raritan Center building. Murphy said that 300,000 vaccines had already been given in New Jersey as of Jan 14.

Murphy was asked why the current vaccination guidelines make smokers eligible for vaccinations before teachers and people employed in the transportation industry.

The governor replied that he wanted everyone to receive vaccinations as quickly as possible and explained that the CDC publishes the guidelines, and he has no input. He added, “I hope sooner than later teachers are on the on-deck circle.”

Murphy also noted, “We’re trying to save the most vulnerable first.” New Jersey residents dying from COVID-19 are mostly seniors and people who suffer from chronic health conditions.

The CDC’s phases are progressing. Phase1A saw the health care workers with direct or indirect exposure to infectious materials and staff of long-term congregate setting receive vaccinations. Phase 1B focused on vaccinating frontline essential workers and other high-risk groups.

Phase 1C is underway and vaccinations are currently being administered to individuals ages 65 years and older and those between the ages of 16-64 with medical conditions that the CDC has determined to increase the risk of catching COVID and suffering from serious effects of the virus.

Phase 2, the general population, is next. President-elect Joe Biden’s administration plans to release almost all the vaccine that was being held for second doses, meant to speed up the vaccination process by ensuring vaccination locations are stocked.

Click HERE to preregister for the vaccine.

Below is Gov. Phil Murphy's January 15 press briefing: 

 

CORONAVIRUS DATA CENTRAL 

  • Click here for New Jersey's COVID-19 vaccine scheduling system, including preregistration. 
  • Click here for the state’s central online location for official vaccine-related information.
  • Click here for information from the state Department of Health on the coronavirus vaccination, including fact sheets and important state and federal data.
  • Click here for the latest from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.
  • Click here for the New Jersey COVID-19 Dashboard.
  • Click here for New Jersey’s latest COVID-19 Weekly Activity Report.
  • Click here for COVID-19 testing information.

 

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