TRENTON, N.J. (CBS/AP) — New Jersey has the infrastructure set up to start vaccinating more people against COVID-19 but doesn’t have the supply of shots to meet demand, Gov. Phil Murphy said Tuesday. Murphy, a Democrat, said the state has opened two-thirds of the mass vaccination sites across the state, with more set up at CVS and Walgreens under a federal partnership, but the number of vaccines coming in each week is just over 100,000.
That’s short of the 470,000 needed to meet demand, according to Health Commissioner Judy Persichilli.READ MORE: Villanova University Reports Male Student Allegedly Sexually Assaulted 4 Female Students In Residence Halls
So far, New Jersey has administered about 388,000 doses of the vaccine. That amounts to about 3.9% of the state’s population. Overall, the country has seen about 10.6 million vaccinations, or 3.2% of the population, according to figures from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.
“All we are missing are the vaccine doses we need,” Murphy said.
Murphy predicted that supply would be short “for some time,” and didn’t specify when or how it would increase.
Persichilli said Monday that a state hotline to answer questions about the vaccine and help people with appointments was operational, though with automated responses. Beginning next week, callers will be able to talk to a person for help when they call, she said. The number is 855-568-0545.
New Jersey has cleared millions to begin receiving the vaccine. Among them are health care workers, first-responders, those 65 and older and people 16-64 years old with medical conditions ( including smoking, which is a risk factor for the virus).
The governor also extended the Garden State’s public health emergency for the 11th time as the emergency declaration runs for 30 days.READ MORE: New Jersey Easing Restrictions On Wedding Reception Capacity
“As we continue to work expeditiously to distribute vaccines, the COVID-19 pandemic is still in full swing,” Murphy said. “Continued access to necessary resources is important and critical as cases have continued to climb in New Jersey and across our nation.”
New Jersey’s seven-day rolling average of daily new cases rose over the past two weeks from 4,787 new cases a day on Jan. 4 to 5,844 new cases per day Monday, according to Johns Hopkins University.
The seven-day rolling average of daily deaths has declined over the last two weeks, from about 85 a day to 75, according to the university.
On Tuesday, Murphy reported an additional 54 deaths overnight, putting the total toll at 18,421.
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