The Biden Administration is altering the COVID-19 vaccine schedule to give states a larger window of what doses they will receive as state officials laid out their plan to help those who have not yet scheduled their second shot.
When it comes to the actual amounts of COVID-19 vaccine coming into New Jersey, Gov. Phil Murphy said working with the Biden Administration is giving him more hope.
“We’re optimistic about all the signs coming from the White House—especially the announcements yesterday that we will be seeing an increase in our vaccine allocation as well as receiving a three-week look ahead as to how many doses will be coming to our state,” said Murphy at a press briefing Jan. 27.
Three Week Window
New Jersey Department of Health Commissioner Judith Persichilli said the state is scheduled to receive approximately 130,000 doses a week during the three week time span. Previously, the federal government released those figures on a week-to-week basis. The doses will be allocated for the sites other than long-term care facilities, which has its own set aside from the federal government.
“We, like every other state, need greatly increased vaccine production and delivery,” said Murphy. “We just need the doses to make our program run as it has been purpose-built to run. We need to have patience as our vaccine program awaits the doses we need to kick into high gear.”
The announcement comes as the Murphy administration has faced questions in recent days about vaccine sites, most prominently the Gloucester mega-site, not scheduling a second dose.
Second Dose Scheduling
“We’re working hard to ensure that those who need their second dose will get it in a timely manner,” said Murphy.
Persichilli earlier in the week noted “Most of our sites schedule the second dose appointment before you leave after your first dose. We did find, and I can attest to particularly, the Gloucester site did not do that.”
Murphy and Persichilli said those that made their first dose through an appointment made via covid19.nj.gov/vaccine, the second dose appointment has been automatically scheduled. Residents will receive a confirmation email within the next several days for when the second shot is scheduled.
For those that received their first dose at the Gloucester County mega-site and booked the appointment directly with the mega-site, a representative from the mega-site will be contacting those directly to schedule the second dose.
If the first dose appointment was made with a vaccine site and a second dose appointment was not made, New Jerseyans are to contact the vaccine site where they received the vaccine.
Murphy stated if by the end of the weekend, those still not certain how they will receive their second dose appointment should contact the Vaccination Call Center to help schedule one.
The governor acknowledged that the state’s online program with registering for and scheduling the COVID-19 vaccine is a “work in progress. We are building something from scratch.”
On Jan. 27, the cumulative number of confirmed coronavirus cases in New Jersey reached 606,492 with 3,950 total new PCR cases reported. There were 1,080 probable cases, bringing the cumulative total of antigen tests to 70,045. The total number of individual cases for the state is 676,537. Gov. Murphy noted there is some unknown overlap due to health officials urging those taking a rapid test to get a PCR test.
As for those that have passed, the state reported 107 new deaths, bringing that total to 19,091. The state listed probable deaths at 2,129, bringing the overall total to 21,220. State officials noted 69 deaths occurred in the last 24 hours of reporting that have not yet been lab confirmed.
For North Jersey counties, Bergen had a total of 407 new confirmed cases and 94 probable cases, Essex 404 new cases and 87 probable cases, Hudson 288 new cases and 69 probable cases, Morris 228 new cases and and 65 probable cases, Passaic 330 new cases and 34 probable cases, Sussex 45 new cases and 15 probable cases, and Warren 49 cases and 10 probable cases.
Of the total confirmed deaths in North Jersey, Essex County has the most with 2,267, followed by Bergen at 2,189, Hudson with 1,677, Passaic at 1,422, Morris at 840, Sussex at 198 and Warren County at 183.
In regards to probable deaths, Bergen has 268, Essex has 255, Morris at 207, Hudson has 171, Passaic at 163, Sussex has 53 and Warren has 15.
The daily rate of infections from those tested as of Jan. 23, was 12.6%; by region, the rate was 12.5% in the North, 12.7% in the Central region and 12.9% in the South. The state is no longer using serology tests as health officials explained those results show a past presence of the disease as well as a current one.
As for the rate of transmission, it decreased to 0.91 from 0.92 the day before. Officials have continually cited transmission rate and positivity rate as health data they rely on to track how the coronavirus is being contained in New Jersey, guiding them in determining when restrictions have to be tightened or lifted.
Officials reported 3,190 patients were hospitalized with 2,969 cases confirmed and 221 under investigation. By region, there were 1,394 in the North, 1,036 in the Central and 760 in the South.
Of those hospitalized, 578 are in intensive care units and 406 on ventilators. A total of 416 patients were discharged, while 375 were admitted.
Bergen Tops County Count
Bergen has the most confirmed cumulative cases in the state with 58,618, followed by Essex at 58,162, Middlesex at 57,975, Hudson at 55,192, Passaic at 46,341, Union at 43,747, Monmouth at 43,338, Ocean at 42,263, Camden at 35,657, Burlington at 27,274, Morris at 26,724, Mercer at 23,155, Gloucester at 18,656, Atlantic at 16,727, Somerset at 15,893, Cumberland at 10,498, Sussex at 6,690, Warren at 5,304, Hunterdon at 5,186, Salem at 3,800, and Cape May at 3,132.
In regards to probable cases, Bergen had the most at 6,720, followed by Union at 6,407, Ocean at 5,143, Essex at 4,922, Hudson at 4,492, Morris at 4,276, Atlantic at 4,171, Monmouth at 4,170, Middlesex at 4,043, Passaic at 3,892, Camden at 3,740, Somerset at 3,484, Burlington at 3,387, Cape May at 2,891, Gloucester at 2,603, Cumberland at 1,994, Mercer at 1,244, Sussex at 894, Warren at 578, Hunterdon at 528, and Salem 417.
Another 1,160 cases are still under investigation to determine where the person resides.
In regards to cases related to in-school transmissions, a total of 131 outbreaks involving 597 cases, with 10 new outbreaks accounting for 32 cases reported in the weekly update, have been reported in all 21 counties in the Garden State.
For North Jersey, Bergen County has 29 confirmed outbreaks with 121 cases, Passaic County has five confirmed outbreaks with 25 cases, Sussex has five confirmed outbreaks with 12 cases, Warren has five confirmed outbreaks with 12 cases, Hudson County has two confirmed outbreaks with 10 cases, Essex County with one confirmed outbreak with 91 cases and Morris County has two confirmed outbreaks with 10 cases.
Long-term Care Facilities
Health officials noted 430 long-term care facilities are currently reporting at least one case of COVID-19, accounting for a total of 15,404 of the cases, broken down between 7,410 residents and 7,994 staff.
Cumulatively, 1,224 long-term care facilities reported a case infecting 32,123 residents and 21,303 staff, for a total of 53,426 cases.
The state’s official death total will now be reported as those that are lab confirmed, sits at 7,733 on Jan. 27. The facilities are reporting to the state 7,692 residents deaths and 144 staff deaths.
The number of COVID-19 vaccines administered in New Jersey totaled 627,677 as of Jan. 27. Of those who have received the vaccine, 540,243 residents have received their first dose with 85,735 their second; 55% have been administered the Moderna vaccine and 45% the Pfizer.
Demographically, 61% of those vaccinated are women and 39% men. As for ethnicity, 48% are White, 20% unknown, 19% other, 6% Asian, 5% Hispanic and 3% Black. In regards to age of those having received the vaccine, 32% are 65 years old or olders, 30% are between the ages of 50-64, 29% are between the ages of 40-49, and 10% are between the ages of 18-29.
In North Jersey, Bergen County has delivered 68,468 doses, Essex 50,637 doses, Hudson 29,060 doses, Morris 46,150 doses, Passaic 29,605 doses, Sussex 9,984 doses, and Warren 6,236 doses.