New Jersey residents remain anxious about COVID-19 vaccine shortage
There is anxiety growing across New Jersey for those who are looking to book their appointment for a second dose of the COVID-19 vaccine that there won’t be enough.
Of the more than 664,000 doses of the vaccine administered across the state, around 95,000 of those are second doses. This as the state is suffering a shortage of the vaccine.
The LaGuercios drove 100 miles to get their vaccination – a trip from Bergen to Gloucester County. But they are hoping it wasn't a waste as they left that building without anyone giving them a firm follow up appointment.
“I think I’m more anxious because of the time constraint that we are in,” says Diana LaGuercio.
Diana and her husband Andrew LaGuercio are supposed to get their second dose of the Pfizer vaccine within 21 days, after making the long drive for their shot.
With the Meadowlands site all booked, Diana says that she was able to get an appointment for her husband at the Rowan University site. She was hoping to get in as a walk-in. Andrew got his shot as scheduled and two hours later and Diana got hers. But staffers only took her phone number, no email and never offered a second appointment.
“They told us with this card we would go on the website and make our own appointment,” she says.
But making a second appointment proved to be impossible. New Jersey Health Commissioner Judith Persichilli, realizing what happened in Gloucester County, said, “the Gloucester County megasite has already begun contacting individuals for a second dose appointment."
For those who registered for an appointment on the state’s website, Persichilli said, “You will receive an automatic scheduled second dose appointment this weekend."
Anyone who received a first dose anywhere else will need to call that location. Going forward, vaccination sites are supposed to book an appointment before the patient leaves.
But despite their worry, the LaGuercios say the vaccination experience was a positive one and they were impressed with the Gloucester site.
“We are humbled and so proud to be a part of this,” Diana says. “Hoping we can get through the rest of it as well.”
Persichilli said that anyone who can't get an appointment within that 21-day time frame shouldn’t panic. The vaccine doesn't lose its effectiveness that soon.
Diana LaGuercio received a text offering an appointment two hours after speaking with News 12 New Jersey.