New Jersey’s COVID-19 vaccine rollout marred by confusion and frustration

The COVID-19 vaccine rollout in New Jersey has been marred by confusion and finger-pointing.

News 12 Staff

Jan 19, 2021, 4:10 AM

Updated 1,270 days ago

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The COVID-19 vaccine rollout in New Jersey has been marred by confusion and finger-pointing.
State health officials have set a goal of vaccinating 70% of the state’s adult population in six months. But at the current rate, it will likely take almost a year and a half to reach that goal.
Gov. Phil Murphy says that the state does not have access to enough vaccine doses, and it could take weeks before that changes.
Since the pandemic began, when it comes to COVID testing, PPE, lockdowns and now the vaccine, the federal government has put the onus on the states and vice versa, and this won’t change when President-elect Joe Biden takes office. But the new administration has vowed to force drug companies to ramp up production of the vaccine.
Biden and other politicians have made some lofty goals when it comes to the pandemic and vaccinations. But some health experts say that the state could do more to educate residents about the vaccine.
"Getting information out to people knowing where to go to get the vaccine, how to register for the vaccine. And then also ensuring that some of our most vulnerable populations who’ve been most hard impacted by COVID – and most disproportionally impacted are communities of color, in particular – start to get vaccinated,” says Montclair State professor and epidemiologist Dr. Stephanie Silvera.
Black and Hispanic communities account for less than 10% of those who have gotten vaccinated so far.
And there is also concern about how registration for the vaccine seems to be only online, alienating some older New Jersey residents.
“That assumes that you know how to use a computer,” says Ellen Steinberg, who works with senior citizens in Union County. "You're told you have to sign up for a vaccine. Do you go to the state site to you go to the county site?”
She says there needs to be a call center for seniors. The state doesn't have one, but the governor has said that a central phone number is "not a bad idea."
Connecticut does have a phone line set up. New York City has transportation available to help bring seniors to vaccine sites.


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