Gov. Murphy calls out CVS, Walgreens for slow rollout of COVID-19 vaccinations program
Gov. Phil Murphy is calling out two companies, CVS and Walgreens, for their slow rollout of their vaccinations program.
Nearly 400,000 doses of COVID-19 vaccines have been administered statewide, but that pace is not fast enough for Gov. Murphy.
Employees from the companies are performing most of the vaccinations at nursing homes and long-term care centers, part of a federal program set up by the outgoing Trump administration. But the governor says, they need to move faster.
"We've met some of their team members, they seem to be extremely competent, passionate about the mission,” says Gov. Murphy. “But there's no question the federal program is meaningfully lagging what we have control over in the state. There's no question about that."
The governor went on to cite West Virginia, the only state in the country to not take the federal partnership with CVS and Walgreens -- and are doing the best in the country with the vaccine rollout.
In a statement to News 12, a spokesperson for Walgreens says, "While we know there are and will be bumps along the way that impact vaccine distribution and administration, we are committed to adapting our processes to help meet the needs of our communities and the patients we serve. This is a monumental effort and Walgreens is proud to help roll out the COVID-19 vaccine and be a part of this complex undertaking. Of the 95 skilled nursing facilities in New Jersey we are contracted to serve, we have completed first doses at nearly 80 facilities and have 40 more clinics scheduled over next seven days for first and second doses. Walgreens is on track to complete first dose clinics around the country in skilled nursing facilities by Jan. 25."
Gov. Murphy is hopeful the situation changes under the incoming Biden administration. Commissioner of Health Judith Persichelli says a toll free hotline to schedule vaccine appointments should be up and running by early next week.