Vaccination update: Confusion, frustration and closures — NJ Top news 1/29
There has not been a lot of good news to talk about recently with the pandemic continuing to prevent a return to normal life. A leading New Jersey economist, however, is forecasting a lot of the things we enjoy could return this summer.
Rutgers Economist James Hughes believes the New Jersey economy is poised for a big bounce back this summer. Hughes told New Jersey 101.5's David Matthau additional federal stimulus will help drive job growth in the second half of this year.
Hughes also believes if the state is able to accelerate vaccination efforts, people will feel more confident going out in public. That, he says, has the potential to spark a significant economic rebound as pent-up demand for a return to the activities we love could fuel a spike in consumer spending as people flock to restaurants and enjoy other face-to face activities.
Here's the latest vaccination news in New Jersey:
How many are vaccinated? — The race to vaccinate 4.7 million New Jersey adults continues at a crawl. The state has yet to record 600,000 first vaccination shots. Just over 100,000 second and final doses have been given.
State COVID site glitches — The state scheduling website glitched on Thursday when making appointments for the mega site at Rowan University in Gloucester County.
The county first had to shift to its backup system. Then the state issued QR codes started coming up with errors when scanned and generated e-mails to people already on site their appointments were canceled. This opened up an available slot that was claimed immediately, meaning every one dose had two appointments.
County administrator Chad Bruner told NJ.com the county will honor all appointments as the doses are available. “I'm not going to penalize anyone if it wasn't their fault,” he said.
Second-dose appointments — Those needing their second dose of vaccine may have already been scheduled to receive it. If you made your appointment through the state's COVID portal, an email confirmation should be coming in the next few days. If you made your appointment directly with another site, you'll have to call them directly to schedule the second dose.
Vaccination site closed — One of the state's six mega-vaccination sites is closing this weekend because they have no vaccine. The location at an abandoned Sears store in Rockaway, Morris County, is expected to reopen on Monday. Officials anticipated the shortage, they say, and did not schedule any appointments for Saturday and Sunday.
Resident priority — A growing number of counties have started giving priority to their own residents to get a COVID vaccine, while putting other New Jerseyans at the back of the waiting list. John Donnadio, who heads up the NJ Association of Counties, says everybody needs to understand officials in different counties are only trying to look out for the well-being of their older residents.
More doses won't make a difference — Even with New Jersey scheduled to see an increase in COVID vaccine from the federal government, it will not speed up the vaccination effort. State health officials say the extra doses will be reserved for those who got their first shot, and now need the second. New Jersey expects 130,000 doses a week for at least the next three weeks.
More N.J. Top News:
- Winter Weather Alert: Heavy snowfall potential starting Sunday. Here's what you need to know.
- N.J. economist thinks we could see some normalcy this summer.
- After N.J. saw it's rate of transmission of COVID-19 rise to among the highest in the nation after the December holidays, we now have among the lowest.
- The state is offering an extended open window to sign up on New Jersey's state run health exchange.
- Formal legislation to remove the SALT cap has been introduced in Washington.
- With a deadline looming for the governor and legislature to pass enabling legislation for legal weed, there is word of progress but no deal.
- A New Jersey mom is suing an Ocean County supermarket, claiming she was fired for pumping breast milk.
- Polar Bear Plunge canceled, moved to virtual.
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