Can NJ COVID hotline schedule appointments or not? – Top News 2/10
At briefing with reporters this week, Persichilli said the state had already made hundreds of appointments for vaccinations, and would continue to make more.
We knew the appointments would be difficult to schedule due to the lack of vaccine supply. However, stories are emerging about people being told by operators at the state's call center saying they did not have a "capability" to make appointments.
NJ.com has detailed several stories of people being placed on hold for an hour or more, only to eventually be told by an operator they did not have the ability to make an appointment. The Murphy administration is not commenting on that, other than to plead for patience as the state awaits more vaccine supply.
Annual COVID vaccination? - One of the most frequently asked questions from listeners is whether people will need a new COVID vaccine every year. The answer remains unclear. However, New Jersey's COVID medical advisor, Dr. Eddie Bresnitz, says it is possible. Bresnitz says with new COVID variants popping up, booster shots to protect against them may be needed.
Herd immunity by July? - Despite giving out more than one-million doses of COVID vaccine, New Jersey may not achieve the goal of vaccinating 70% of the adult population until mid-July. That assumes the state has enough vaccine supply, which we currently do not. Because it takes two doses for full immunity, New Jersey needs to give out another eight-million shots to reach the goal of vaccinating 4.7 million. That assumes 50,000 shots per day, which is double the number of shots currently being delivered. That timeline could be dramatically altered once the new Johnson &Johnson single dose vaccine is available.
Outbreak shrinks - New Jersey's rate of transmission of the COVID-19 virus continues to fall. At 0.83, it is the lowest it has been since the start of the pandemic. It is an encouraging sign the outbreak is shrinking at a time when more people are getting vaccinated and the spring and summer tourism season is just a few weeks away....
Nursing home workers refuse vaccine - There continues to be conflicting data about how many people will get vaccinated. Recent polls in New Jersey show the majority of residents saying they will be inoculated. Some national polls show as few as 50% of people say they will get a shot. Other polls say the number is much higher. Add this to the mix: A senior executive at Walgreens claims about 60% of employees and 20% of residents at long-term care facilities declined COVID vaccines.
Facebook cracks down on vaccine misinformation - Facebook and Instagram have been more aggressive in recent days combating misinformation about vaccines in general, and COVID-19 vaccines specifically. They have been removing posts that contain debunked claims that it is safer to get coronavirus than receive the COVID-19 vaccine and that vaccines in general cause autism.
More N.J. Top News:
- You asked where the flu went this year. Nowhere to be found.
- Growing calls for the state to cancel standardized testing this year, but so far the Murphy administration has refused.
- Sen. Loretta Weinberg: "The Department of Corrections seems to be steeped in rape culture."
- Even though we were driving less last year, fatal accidents were up in New Jersey.
- Small businesses will not have to pay taxes on paycheck protection loans.
- Severe beach damage from last week's storm as another heads for the coast this weekend.
- Fake site selling tickets to the 2021 Festival of Ballooning. This is the legit site.
- Watch the emotional reunion between a man and the rescue dog who saved his life.
LOOK: Answers to 30 common COVID-19 vaccine questions
While much is still unknown about the coronavirus and the future, what is known is that the currently available vaccines have gone through all three trial phases and are safe and effective. It will be necessary for as many Americans as possible to be vaccinated in order to finally return to some level of pre-pandemic normalcy, and hopefully these 30 answers provided here will help readers get vaccinated as soon they are able.