Vaccines in NJ: It’s not what you know but who you know (Opinion)
There's an old expression that goes "it's not what you know, but who you know." That's never more appropriate than in New Jersey. The latest instance being at Hunterdon Medical Center, where they were "handing out the coveted COVID-19 vaccine to deep-pocketed donors and the relatives of its executives," according to a story broken by New Jersey 101.5's Erin Vogt.
I would joke that if this were the old days, there would be vaccines all over the neighborhood that "fell off the truck." Things are different now — or are they really?
According to Erin's article, "A hospital spokesman on Tuesday said that the organization followed all state regulations and that the vaccine was offered to otherwise ineligible people such as employees, retired staff, relatives and volunteers only when there was a risk of virus supply going to waste."
Well, we wouldn't want that vaccine to go to waste. Here's a thought, why not give it to those who have registered and use those doses to expedite that long line? I can't believe that the hospital couldn't find anyone who was qualified for the vaccine at the time and had to resort to relatives and donors. How hard did they really look?
Also in Erin's article: "More than a month after a connected few with ties to Hunterdon Medical Center, Hunterdon Healthcare and the Hunterdon Healthcare Foundation received their vaccines, fewer than 630,000 people have been vaccinated in a state with more than 6.3 million adults. About 5% of the recipients in New Jersey have been Latino and just 3% have been Black. Just under a third of the supply has gone to those over 65, the most vulnerable population."
Those numbers show that we don't have time for this. We've got to get the vaccines to those who need them as quickly and efficiently as possible, so that we can get this state opened up again.
If there is any line cutting there should be a price to pay. But there won't be because in New Jersey, as we all know, it's not what you know but who you know. Here's hoping those who qualified for but didn't get the vaccine don't have to pay the price.
The post above reflects the thoughts and observations of New Jersey 101.5 talk show host Steve Trevelise. Any opinions expressed are Steve's own. Steve Trevelise is on New Jersey 101.5 Monday-Thursday from 7pm-11pm. Follow him on Twitter @realstevetrev.
Where to get COVID-19 vaccine in NJ