TRENTON, 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.
“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,” Gov. Murphy said at his February 19 COVID-19 press briefing. “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.”
That’s the situation at the two Monmouth County vaccination sites at Brookdale Community College and the Monmouth County Agricultural Building, both of which have been out of doses since Wednesday, February 17.
“The county still has not gotten notification that the vaccines have even shipped yet, and so we have no choice but to cancel the scheduled appointments for Friday and Saturday,” said Monmouth County Board of Commissioners Director Thomas Arnone in a February 19 press release after announcing the previous day that appointments were canceled for both Wednesday and Thursday as well.
“We apologize for this inconvenience to those with scheduled appointments, but since Monmouth County administers every single vaccine dose that we receive as soon as we get it, we literally do not have one vaccine on hand right now,” he said.
Individuals with appointments will be contacted next week to be rescheduled, according to County Commissioner Deputy Director Kiley. “For everyone who was scheduled for a second dose, it is important to note that the second dose can be administered any time between 28 and 42 days after the first dose.”
During Murphy’s Friday briefing, state Health Commissioner Judith Persichilli said that some of New Jersey’s vaccination mega-sites may receive delayed shipments of the state’s first doses of the Pfizer vaccine today, February 20. “Those doses had been expected to arrive this past Monday. 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,” she said.
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.”
Currently, 2.4 million New Jerseyans are searching for a limited number of appointments, she said. “We have been notified that nationally, vaccine allotments will increase. 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,” she added.
As of February 19, nearly 1.6 million vaccinations having been administered across the state, including more than 1.1 million first doses and more than 456,000 second doses. Of those, 190,083 vaccinations have been administered at New Jersey’s long-term care facilities, representing a nearly 70% administration rate, according to the state’s latest numbers.
At all vaccination sites throughout Monmouth County, 118,780 vaccines have been given, including 82,953 first doses and 35,816 second doses, according to the state’s most recent COVID-19 Data Dashboard.
CORONAVIRUS DATA CENTRAL