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Officials urge New Jerseyans to remain patient during COVID-19 vaccine rollout

There are calls for New Jersey residents to remain patient as the state attempts to inoculate the population against COVID-19.

News 12 Staff

Jan 16, 2021, 3:34 AM

Updated 1,253 days ago

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There are calls for New Jersey residents to remain patient as the state attempts to inoculate the population against COVID-19.
State health officials say that there is just not enough supply of the vaccine to handle the massive demand.
Gov. Phil Murphy toured the Edison vaccine megasite on Friday. It is one of four megasites now open around the state that is distributing the vaccine. But getting an appointment won’t be easy as there are now 4 million state residents eligible to receive the vaccine. Already 1.5 million people have pre-registered. The governor said that New Jersey residents are not alone in being frustrated by the delays.
“There’s no evidence that anywhere else is easier to get a vaccine than New Jersey right now,” he said.
Murphy said that if the federal government would start sending more vaccines, the logjam of appointments wouldn’t be an issue.
As an example, Summit Medical Group just sent patients a message saying that they are not taking appointments until the vaccine supply increases.
The group wrote in an email, ”Don’t call for an appointment. Don’t walk into a doctor’s office or urgent care center to get an appointment and don’t sent patient portal messages to your doctor.”
The email went on to say, “The volume of appointment requests via phone and through our patient portal is limiting our ability to care for patients who need both sick and well visits.”
State Health Commissioner Judith Persichilli says that more vaccines are expected to arrive next week.
“We expect about 53,000 Pfizer, 53,000 Moderna [vaccines]. That’s what it’s been running since the beginning of January,” she said.
Persichilli added that the state wants 470,000 doses per week to vaccinate 70% of New Jersey’s adult population in six months.
Summit Medical Group is by no means the only health provider telling people to wait. ShopRite stopped taking appointments, and health departments from Long Beach Island to Wayne are saying the same. In Paterson, 900 people were vaccinated on Friday, but the refrigerator of vaccines is now empty.
The state is set to open six megasites in all. Locations in Atlantic and Bergen counties will open next week.


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