EDITOR'S UPDATE (Sunday, Feb. 21): Appointments scheduled for first and second doses at all Essex County Vaccination Sites on Monday, Feb. 22, 2021, have been canceled due to a delay vaccine shipments from the federal government. Canceled appointments rescheduled for some time next week, according to Essex County officials.
LIVINGSTON, NJ — Severe winter weather across the country this week has delayed the delivery of 6 million doses of the coronavirus vaccine nationwide, including 230,000 shots on their way to New Jersey, according to Gov. Phil Murphy. The delays have affected vaccination centers throughout the area, including at the Essex County COVID-19 Vaccination Site located at the Livingston Mall, where first vaccination dose appointments for Saturday and Sunday were canceled.
According to Essex County Executive Joseph N. DiVincenzo, all appointments will be rescheduled for next week, and more information will be shared when the county's vaccine supply is received.
“Because planes at major hubs for both FedEx and UPS have been grounded due to the weather, this week’s delivery has not made it to us on time,” the governor said on Friday. “We are working with all of our vaccinators for them to use existing inventory to satisfy their current appointments. However, we are keenly aware that not all sites have the inventory on hand to be able to do this, and this will result in many appointments needing to be rescheduled.”
During Murphy’s COVID-19 briefing on Friday, New Jersey Health Commissioner Judith Persichilli said that some vaccination mega-sites may receive delayed shipments of the state’s first doses of the Pfizer vaccine on Feb. 20.
“Those doses had been expected to arrive this past Monday," she said. "We're closely tracking this shipment, and we will keep the mega-sites informed as we learn more, and all sites informed as we learn more about the delayed shipments to other points of dispensing."
Persichilli acknowledged what she called “the tremendous imbalance between the supply of vaccine and the demand for appointments, and the shipping delays have just added another layer of strain to our ongoing supply challenges.”
According to Pesichilli, there are approximately 2.4 million New Jerseyans currently searching for a limited number of appointments, she said.
“We have been notified that nationally, vaccine allotments will increase," she said. "We are patiently awaiting to learn of that impact on our supply. So again, while acknowledging the public's frustration, I ask for your continued patience until we receive increased supplies from the federal government."
As of Saturday morning, more than 1.6 million vaccinations having been administered across the state, including more than 1.1 million first doses and 483,991 second doses. Of those, 195,422 vaccinations have been administered through New Jersey’s Long-Term Care Federal Pharmacy Program, representing a nearly 72% administration rate, according to the state’s latest vaccination overview.
At all vaccination sites throughout Essex County, there have been 130,670 vaccines administered, including 94,166 first doses and 36,495 second doses, according to the state’s most recent COVID-19 Data Dashboard.
How to Get a COVID-19 Vaccine in Livingston and Essex County
Since not all vaccine sites are included in New Jersey's vaccine scheduling system (click here) or available when calling the state hotline at 855-568-0545, Essex County residents are advised to check for appointments on the county's site, as well as on other local community-based sites.
Livingston residents are encouraged to visit Essex County's informational website at EssexCOVID.org, which also includes links to schedule COVID-19 tests and vaccinations.
For assistance with registering for the vaccine or for more information about the various locations nearby, contact the state's toll free COVID-19 vaccination hotline at 855-568-0545 or complete an online form at covid19.nj.gov/vaccinehelp. The hotline is available to assist callers in multiple languages daily from 8 a.m. to 8 p.m.
All phases and determinations of eligibility for the COVID-19 vaccine are made by the State of New Jersey based on recommendations from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). More information on the phase categories can be found here.
Those who are not yet eligible to schedule a vaccination appointment can pre-register via the State's COVID-19 website at covidvaccine.nj.gov.
For questions about vaccination supply and rescheduling an appointment, contact EssexCOVID19@admin.essexcountynj.org.