NEW JERSEY — As of Monday, New Jersey has administered 1,037,657 vaccine doses - passing the 1 million mark with 24 days to go until the anniversary of the first reported coronavirus case in the state.
Thus far, 224,237 people have received second shots, numbers Gov. Phil Murphy and other government officials have said they want to see go up.
“This is a great barrier we have crossed, but we are not resting on any laurels here. No trophies, no ribbons, no spiking the football in the spirit of Super Bowl Monday, but we're going to keep at it until we reach our goal, and we are going to do our part to meet President Biden's nationwide goal of 150 million vaccinations in his first 100 days,” Murphy said during a COVID-19 press brief out of Trenton on Monday afternoon.
The governor said he was encouraged by the trajectory of inoculations: 29 days to reach a quarter million vaccines, 10 days to reach 500,000 and now 16 days to go from 500,000 to over a million.
New Jersey hopes to vaccinate 70% of the adult population - or 4.7 million people - by the beginning of the summer. A milestone, Murphy acknowledged, that’s still a ways away.
“I think it makes a big difference,” Murphy said regarding vaccinating a large swath of the population. “You just start to imagine that a million shots gets to 2 million, 3 million. This thing starts to rack up and you combine that with the epidemiological curves cresting and starting to come down a little bit, warmer weather… it's going to make a huge difference.”
While specific numbers were not supplied, state health officials said NJ expects to receive more doses than it has been in the coming weeks.
Right now healthcare workers, other people on the frontline, and people 65 and up are among the priority. Murphy said the state hopes to get to essential workers, including educators, soon.
Johnson & Johnson has indicated to the governor that it anticipates its vaccine, which only requires one dose, will take two weeks after approval to reach patients. The company will have its coronavirus vaccine considered for approval on Feb. 26.
So far, the Moderna and Pfizer vaccines - which require two shots - have been approved and supplied statewide.
Although it won't “a light switch sort of difference,” Murphy said the increase in vaccinations are “a major contributing positive contributing factor to our ability to get back on our feet and get back to some sense of normalcy.”
Christina Tan, state epidemiologist, said the overall impact of vaccines is difficult to nail down.
Mainly, she said, because residents have a number of other safeguards currently in place to help protect them as well. She pointed to widespread use of face masks as an example.
“In terms of looking at the population versus individual level, we do know that the pharmaceutical companies… and the CDC are still consistently looking at vaccine effectiveness. That's monitoring how well the vaccine works in real life scenarios,” she said.
Lower numbers due to "electronic lab-reporting issue”
The state recorded 2,218 new pcr COVID-19 cases as of Monday, as well as 516 new antigen tests - for totals of 647,194 pcr tests and 77,534 antigen tests.
However, Murphy said there was an “electronic lab-reporting issue.”
He recommended combining Monday and Tuesday’s case figures and dividing in half for a more accurate picture.
What's more, there were 25 new deaths (22,011 total, of which 2,187 are considered probable).
The positivity rate is 8.5% and the rate of transmission is 0.85.
The following was reported at hospitals:
- 2,814 people treated for COVID-19 in hospitals (181 awaiting results)
- 540 in intensive care
- 373 on ventilators
- 255 patents discharged Sunday
- 256 admitted Sunday
- 40 in-hospital deaths Sunday (awaiting further results
The governor also provided an update regarding the state’s 811 districts, including traditional public, charter, Renaissance and schools for those with disabilities :
- 95 with in-person instruction (Up 6 from 2/1)
- 491 with hybrid instruction (Up 21 from 2/1)
- 190 with all remote instruction (Down 23 from 2/1)
- 35 using a mix of options (Down 4 from 2/1
As of today, New Jersey’s coronavirus hotline has responded to roughly 50,000 calls, registering up to 6,000 people for their vaccine and scheduled 600 appointments. Over the weekend, agents registered 514 people and scheduled 286 appointments.
To call the state for information or to ask questions, contact 1-800-962-1253 or 1- 800-222-1222. You can also head to nj.gov/health.
Watch Monday's press conference below: