Vaccination update: Most in NJ now say they want it — Top News 1/28
Even with more New Jersey residents — close to 8 in 10 — saying they will get vaccinated for COVID-19, the state continues to fall short of the numbers needed for a full reopening by summer.
Health Commissioner Judith Persichilli expects an additional 30,000 doses of vaccine per week, for a total of 130,000. That still puts New Jersey far off the pace to achieve herd immunity.
Gov. Phil Murphy has set the goal of vaccinating 70% of the adult population. That equates to 4.7 million residents. New Jersey has given about 550,000 first doses, or about 11% of the total number needed.
Here is the latest vaccination news from New Jersey 101.5:
Murphy issues warning about line jumping - Following a report by New Jersey 101.5 that found wealthy donors and relatives of top executives at Hunterdon Medical Center were allowed to improperly get COVID vaccines in December, Gov. Murphy issued an angry warning. He says, if true, it's "incredibly offensive," and anyone violating "crystal clear" state guidelines may not receive additional vaccine doses.
2nd dose appointments - New Jersey Health Commissioner Judy Persichilli says anyone who have gotten their first COVID-19 vaccination dose will have an appointment for the needed second dose soon. Persichilli says if you have not yet been contacted to schedule the second dose, you will get a call or email this weekend to make an appointment.
J&J vaccine poised for approval - Johnson & Johnson says they will present data on their single-dose COVID-19 vaccine to the FDA next week. That puts the J&J vaccine on track for approval by next weekend. The New Brunswick-based pharma giant says they can deliver as many as 100 million doses within several weeks.
Most in N.J. say they will get vaccinated - State health officials were alarmed in December they began rolling out vaccinations for COVID when their own surveys showed more than half of residents said they would not get vaccinated. Now, close to 8 in 10 residents say they will get inoculated. That is evident by the number of people trying to secure a vaccination appointment, and willing to wait months for their doses. Only 10% now say they definitely will not get vaccinated.
Counties can turn non-residents away - When the state expanded vaccination eligibility to millions more New Jersey residents, Murphy said you could go to any vaccination site in the state. Persichilli now says county clinics can give priority to those that live, work or study locally and turn away those who do not.
Will teachers get vaccine priority? - Murphy says he is open to giving educators vaccine priority for COVID-19 but has yet to take that action. The state's largest teachers' union has been lobbying hard to include members in the top tier of eligibility. In Middlesex Borough, teachers have refused to go back into classrooms until they are vaccinated.
More N.J. Top News:
- N.J. remains way off pace to reach vaccination goals for a full reopening for summer.
- N.J. confirms the first death from the U.K. COVID mutation.
- As we stayed home during the pandemic, at-home shopping soared and the Port Authority saw an explosion of cargo at our seaports.
- Gov. Murphy refuses to remove his corrections commissioner as investigations continue into inmate beatings at the state's prison for women.
- N.J. congressional delegation look to restore a valuable property tax deduction and repeal the SALT cap.