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NJ Officials Miss Vaccine Deadline For Nursing Homes

Pfizer vaccine
Pfizer vaccine Photo Credit: Jeff Rhode

New Jersey nursing homes will have to wait another week for COVID-19 vaccines after state officials missed the deadline by just one day.

The Pfizer vaccine is currently available in the Garden State to individuals in the 1A category, which includes hospital workers, along with longterm care facility residents and staff.

"In order to start on the 21st there was a deadline for the 7th for input of all the registered facilities. We missed that by a day," said Health Commissioner Judy Persichilli said last Friday, citing the sheer volume of data that needed to be entered.

"We asked to be able to start on the 21st and they said, 'No you'll start on the 28th.' Simple as that."

The state's more than 650 nursing homes are expected to get their first doses of the Pfizer vaccine on Dec. 28.

While New Jersey has a goal to inoculate 70 percent of eligible adults in the next six months (that's nearly 4.7 million people), the demand of the vaccine will likely outpace the supply, the health commissioner noted.

And with New Jersey getting less than 20 percent fewer doses of the Pfizer and Moderna vaccines combined through the end of the year, we're already feeling that demand.

The state will only be getting 392,800 doses of the vaccines, despite being promised 492,075 doses, Persichilli said.

As of Friday, 2,149 New Jersey healthcare workers were vaccinated.

Six vaccine mega sites were expected to launch across the state next month, officials said.

Those sites will prioritize frontline healthcare workers before moving to essential workers and adults over the age of 65 with high-risk medical conditions.

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