Biden Administration Looks at New Jersey as A Model for COVID-19 Vaccine Distribution

From the perspective of the White House, New Jersey continues to be a national leader when it comes to distribution of the COVID-19 vaccine.

“(Governor Phil Murphy) and his team have built one of the best performing vaccination programs in the nation,” said White House Coronavirus Response Coordinator Jeff Zients during a virtual news briefing on June 2. “I hear that from my team all the time, one of the best performing vaccination programs in the nation.” 

Zients noted that New Jersey was one of the first states to hit the important milestone of 70% of adults with at least one shot, with 74% of adults as of June 3 in the Garden State having received at least their first shot. And New Jersey is ranked 6th in the nation with 61% of adults fully vaccinated.

Progress Since January

“I think just overall, Governor, you and your team are doing outstanding work,” he said, highlighting the state’s efforts to work with houses of worship to build vaccine confidence and clinics to meet people where they are in the community through mobile units.

Zients promoted the accomplishments of the Biden Administration as well, noting when they took office in January the U.S. was averaging 184,000 cases per day nationwide and more than 3,000 Americans were losing their life each day. Four and a half months later, cases are down to fewer than 20,000 cases per day, and deaths have dropped by over 85% across the country.

“To be clear, we’re further ahead in the fight against the virus than I think anyone thought we would be at this point,” he said. “As the President says, the light at the end of the tunnel is getting brighter and brighter each day.”

Good Government

The progress, according to Zients, was accomplished as a result of President Joe Biden mobilizing a plan to have a whole of government war-time effort to build for the first time a nationwide vaccination program and support the state efforts that were ongoing.

“In New Jersey since the President took office, that’s meant working with the Governor and his team, providing over $208 million in federal funding for your community vaccination sites,” he said. “Over 700 federal personnel were deployed to your state to support vaccination and over 500 federally funded national guard members working on the COVID-19 response in your communities.”  

Gov. Murphy said the partnership with the Biden administration has enabled the Garden State to “crush the curves again.” 

Answering the Call

“Jeff and his team have remained imminently accessible, in constant touch with us throughout—whether it’s with me personally, Chief of Staff George Helmy …every one of our calls has been answered,” stated Murphy. “From getting us the vaccines to partnering with us directly and setting up community vaccination centers, this has been a collaborative effort at every step, and there is a direct correlation between the increase in vaccinations and the decrease in cases and hospital counts.”

But the most important key to the progress is the approximately 5 million in New Jersey have done their part and gotten vaccinated. 

“In a state that you know well was hit hard and early, New Jerseyans have heeded the Governor’s call. You’ve gone out, you’ve gotten your shot, gotten your friends and family to get the shot, and done what it takes to put New Jersey on the right path,” said Zients. “As a result, in communities across the state and across the nation, the virus is in retreat. This isn’t just saving lives. It’s letting folks in New Jersey and across the country get back to living their lives.”

Economic Health

The White House Response Coordinator added, “As the Governor says, public health drives economic health, and the progress you’ve made in advancing public health and improving economic health is thanks to the hard work of millions of people in New Jersey.” 

Zients noted that for all this progress that has been made, there is still work to be done. He highlighted that President Biden announcement for a national month of action to mobilize an all of America sprint to get more people vaccinated by July 4th, including new commitments from some of the largest childcare providers in the country to provide free drop-in childcare to parents getting vaccinated, and extended hours at pharmacies for vaccinations, including many pharmacies open 24 hours every Friday in the month of June starting next week.  

“Many communities have lower levels of vaccination putting them at higher risk now and going forward and no matter where you live, if you are unvaccinated, you are still at risk,” said Zients. “It all reinforces why we’re pushing so hard to get even more folks in New Jersey and across the country vaccinated.”  

Vaccine Distribution

The number of COVID-19 vaccines administered in New Jersey totaled 8,755,436 in-state, plus an additional 357,974 administered out-of-state for a grand total of 9,113,410 as of June 2. Of those who have received the vaccine, 4,110,212 received their second dose or the one jab Johnson & Johnson dose in state and another 168,100 out of state, bringing those fully vaccinated to 4,278,312. 

Demographically, 54% of those vaccinated are women and 46% men. As for ethnicity, 52% are White, 14% Hispanic, 11% Asian, 7% Black, 9% other and 8% unknown. In regards to the age of those having received the vaccine, 26% are 65 years old or olders, 28% are between the ages of 50-64, 29% are between the ages of 30-49, and 16% are between the ages of 12-29.  

In North Jersey, Bergen County has delivered 960,097 doses (452,493 fully vaccinated), Essex 720,770 doses (3331,475), Hudson 619,224 doses (281,362), Morris 572,340 doses (270,364), Passaic 441,593 doses (204,884), Sussex 133,332 doses (63,666), and Warren 86,278 doses (41,138). 

Daily Data

As of June 3, the cumulative number of confirmed coronavirus cases in New Jersey was 888,288 with 255 total new PCR cases reported. There were 73 probable cases, bringing the cumulative total of antigen tests to 128,756. The total number of individual cases for the state is 1,017,044. 

As for those that have passed, the state reported seven new deaths, bringing that total to 23,575. The state listed probable deaths at 2,678, bringing the overall total to 26,253. State officials noted two deaths occurred in the last 24 hours of reporting that have not yet been lab confirmed.  

For North Jersey counties on June 3, Bergen had a total of 14 new confirmed cases and five new probable cases, Essex 20 new cases and nine new probable cases, Hudson 16 new cases and one new probable case, Morris 11 new cases and one new probable case, Passaic 34 new cases and nine new probable cases, Sussex one new case and one new probable case, and Warren three new cases and no new probable cases.

There are a total of 4,295 coronavirus variants being reported in the Garden State. State officials documented 3,968 cases of the U.K. variant (B.1.1.7), 160 cases of the California variants (B.1.429 and B.1.427), 156 cases of the Brazilian (P.1) variant, and 11 cases of the South African (B.1.351) variant. 

Of the total confirmed deaths in North Jersey, Essex County has the most with 2,697, followed by Bergen at 2,570, Hudson with 2,073, Passaic at 1,727, Morris at 975, Sussex at 236, and Warren County at 211.

In regards to probable deaths reported June 2, Bergen has 298, Essex has 300, Morris has 259, Hudson has 215, Passaic has 198, Sussex has 68 and Warren has 26.

State Testing 

As for the rate of transmission reported June 3, it declined to 0.72 from 0.74 the day before. The daily rate of infections from those tested as of May 29, was 2.2%; by region, the rate was 1.8% in the North, 2.5% in the Central region and 2.4% in the South. 

Officials reported 520 patients were hospitalized; by region, there were 268 in the North, 111 in the Central and 141 in the South. Of those hospitalized, 110 are in intensive care units and 68 on ventilators. A total of 72 patients were discharged.

Officials have continually cited transmission rate, hospitalizations, intensive care units, ventilators 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.

Bergen Tops County Count

Bergen has the most confirmed cumulative cases in the state with 89,713, followed by Middlesex at 84,743, Essex at 84,624, Hudson at 78,712, Monmouth at 67,429, Ocean at 65,607, Passaic at 65,563, Union at 60,364, Camden at 48,943, Morris at 41,844, Burlington at 38,216, Mercer at 31,597, Gloucester at 26,517, Atlantic at 24,908, Somerset at 24,277, Cumberland at 14,849, Sussex at 11,678, Warren at 8,942, Hunterdon at 8,890, Salem at 5,542, and Cape May at 4,606.  

In regards to probable cases, Bergen had the most at 14,588, followed by Union at 11,012, Ocean at 10,189, Essex at 9,463, Hudson at 9,213, Morris at 8,262, Monmouth at 8,081, Middlesex at 7,472, Passaic at 7,348, Camden at 6,673, Atlantic at 6,630, Burlington at 5,945, Somerset at 5,760, Cape May at 4,576, Gloucester at 4,008, Mercer at 2,406, Sussex at 2,311, Cumberland at 2,255, Warren at 1,029, Hunterdon at 895, and Salem 539.

Another 724 cases are still under investigation to determine where the person resides.

In regards to cases related to in-school transmissions, a total of 281 outbreaks involving 1,263 cases, accounting for 18 additional outbreaks and 106 cases from the previous weekly update on May 17. 

For North Jersey, Bergen County has 53 confirmed outbreaks with 202 cases, Sussex has 18 confirmed outbreaks with 78 cases, Passaic County has 16 confirmed outbreaks with 57 cases, Warren has 15 confirmed outbreaks with 36 cases, Morris County has five confirmed outbreaks with 34 cases, Hudson County has five confirmed outbreaks with 23 cases, and Essex County with one confirmed outbreak with 92 cases.

Long-term Care Facilities

Health officials noted 107 long-term care facilities are currently reporting at least one case of COVID-19, accounting for a total of 2,693 of the cases, broken down between 1,119 residents and 1,574 staff. 

Cumulatively, 1,470 long-term care facilities reported a case infecting 32,890 residents and 22,272 staff, for a total of 55,162. 

The state’s official death total will now be reported as those that are lab confirmed, sits at 8,056 on June 3. The facilities are reporting to the state 7,889 residents deaths and 144 staff deaths.


  1. I am afraid the kudos to NJ are misplaced. While the ultimate goal is close to being achieved the beginning (1st 3+ months) of the NJ vaccine program was terrible. Appointments were difficult to get and people were running around frantically trying to find out where and how to get vaccinated. Vaccine releases were spotty at best and were gone within minutes of posting unless inside information was obtained. Communication was appalling and in most cases were distributed via the internet. Those without access, especially seniors, were left in the dark about where and how to get an appointment. Many wound up relying on random people in the community willing to pitch in and help others obtain appointments and spread the word to their friends, neighbors and in some cases strangers on the street. Emails to the health departments, senators, district representatives and the governor’s office went unanswered. Were it not for the intervention of caring community members many would still not be vaccinated. If ever anything like this needs to be done again I hope that those doing the planning, communication, and distribution are more prepared and actually know the needs of the citizens of the state.

  2. While I agree that it was difficult and confusing at the start to get an appointment for a vaccination, eventually I, a 87 year old senior, was happy to get my shots close to home. I am pleased that now a large number of Jersey residents did get their vaccinations.

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