Some mega vaccination sites close in New Jersey due to lack of supply

Coronavirus Update New Jersey

ByEyewitness News WABC logo
Tuesday, January 26, 2021
Some mega vaccination sites close in NJ due to lack of supply
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Anthony Johnson has more on New Jersey's vaccination efforts and what the governor is doing to get more supply.

KEARNY, New Jersey (WABC) -- A forced slowdown of the mass vaccination effort is spreading across the Tri-State.

A new site in Hudson County opened Tuesday and Governor Phil Murphy paid it a visit.

It is a drive-thru and all appointments are booked.

However, the site at the Meadowlands racetrack is closed because of a lack of supply.

Another site in South Jersey was also closed for the same reason Monday.

Governor Phil Murphy appeared on "Good Morning America" and said they have the capacity to vaccinate many more people, but they need more shots. To reach 70% of the population, the governor says they need shots for 4.7 million people.

George Stephanopolous interviews New Jersey Governor Phil Murphy on "Good Morning America."

"We need two or three times the weekly dosage that we are getting now," he said. "I'm confident we are going to get there, and by the time we get to summer we will be in a different place."

The governor said that no doses are going to waste although the federal government's program for long-term care patients and nursing homes is taking longer than they would like.

He said they are getting the state's allocation of COVID vaccine doses in people's arms as fast as they can.

Governors across the country Tuesday are expected to be on a call with the Biden administration's vaccine czar in an effort to reallocate the vaccines from states that have not used all their supply to states that have no more vaccine to distribute.

"We have a distribution system, I think we've got 270 different distribution sites, the one at the Meadowlands being one of them. We need more doses. The Biden administration knows that. They entered an empty cupboard and they are frantically obsessed with building that supply back. We need more doses," Murphy said.

More than 41-million doses have been distributed nationwide, but only a little over half have been used.

"There are some states that are not out and they are working on previous allocations. How does the administration balance that nationwide? It's complicated," Cuomo said.

Neighboring New York has used 91% of its available vaccines.

As states like New York and California seem to be plateauing, they are beginning to ease up on restrictions. Governor Murphy said that he expects to see that same plateau over the next few weeks and will then make those same considerations.

President Biden had a goal of opening all elementary schools within his first 100 days, and Governor Murphy said that he does not schools in his state being fully open that quickly.

"We can at least do it hybrid. I'm not sure we can do it all in, fully in-person. We need to get our educators vaccinated, and that's a big game-changer. We are starting to see a shift right now, a meaningful shift, from remote to hybrid, in our state. We've got many hundreds of districts. I think the game-changer will be can we get the vaccinations for our educators," he said.

Meantime, a vaccine phone line went up in New Jersey morning with 250 agents ready to answer calls and so far the response has been overwhelming.

The number to call is 855-568-0545. Callers can get questions answered, learn about where to get vaccines, and go over eligibility.

The hotline is open from 8 a.m. until 8 p.m. every day.

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