New Jersey has administered more than 100,000 doses of COVID-19 vaccines out of about 400,000 received so far, Democratic Gov. Phil Murphy has announced.
The figure includes mostly front-line health care workers, according to the governor. An additional 120,000 doses has been set aside for long-term care residents and workers, Health Commissioner Judy Persichilli said.
That leaves a gap of about 180,000 doses, according to the commissioner. She said a lag in reporting - particularly among psychiatric facilities - partly explains why there’s such a gap, but also noted that department officials were hearing anecdotally that people didn’t want to risk taking the vaccine before the holidays in case there were negative side effects.
“I think (people) after the holidays will be lining up,” she said. “Hopefully by the end of this week we’ll have much better reporting.”
Of the 120,000 doses put aside for nursing homes, only about 8,000 have been administered so far to residents and staff, Persichilli said, adding that she expects those populations to be vaccinated by the end of January.
New Jersey will also be opening up two “mega sites” for health care workers to get the vaccines in Morris and Gloucester counties, in addition to 200 other places they can go, according to Persichilli.
New Jersey reported nearly 500,000 positive cases, with 17,223 deaths, up 38 overnight, according to the governor.
On Monday, Murphy and Persichilli attended the administration of the second of two doses of the vaccine to workers at University Hospital in Newark. The vaccine requires a shot and a follow-up either 21 days or 28 days later depending on which company’s vaccination is being used.
The state’s plan calls for vaccinating 70 percent of the adult population in six months.