NJ county health COVID-19 vaccine clinics wait for stable supply
New Jersey has announced a small bump in the amount of COVID-19 vaccine supply expected from the federal government for the next few weeks, as county health departments eagerly await more doses.
For at least the next three weeks, 130,000 doses are expected to go to the general population weekly, according to state Health Commissioner Judith Persichilli at Wednesday's pandemic briefing.
Ocean County recently has seen its weekly vaccine supply reduced, from 5,000 doses to 3,000 doses for both the Ocean County Health Department and Long Beach Island Health Department. Starting on Feb. 1, that weekly allotment will go to 3,500, county officials said on Thursday.
LBI has taken appointments by phone for shots at the island’s satellite clinic and said it would eventually be switching over to an online scheduler, in a letter to the public on Tuesday.
Monmouth County recently announced an increase in doses, as a new vaccine site opened at Brookdale Community College. After receiving just 500 vaccines per week, the county began receiving 2,500 vaccines per week as of Monday, according to county officials.
Monmouth County, with Monmouth Medical Center (RWJBarnabas Health network) and Brookdale Community College, has an appointment-only vaccination site at the college’s Robert J. Collins Arena, which is administering 80% of weekly shots.
The other 500 doses a week are being administered at the Monmouth County Agriculture Building in Freehold, also by appointment. The county was working through a wait list of 11,000 names as of last Friday.
Somerset County has seen its supply fluctuate a bit since the start of shipments in late December, but for the next few weeks, will be receiving 700 doses weekly for those waiting to be vaccinated, according to spokesman Nathan Rudy.
The county also was told it will receive the appropriate supply for second doses as they are needed, Rudy said.
“The number of vaccines we receive has been varied week to week based on the amount the state is receiving from the federal government,” Middlesex County officials said, without offering further specifics on Thursday.
“While we do not have control over how many vaccines we receive or when we receive them, we will work tirelessly to distribute all vaccines as soon as they are received by the State and continue to advocate for more vaccines to be given to Monmouth County residents,” Monmouth County Commissioner Director Tom Arnone said in a written statement.
If the county's supply was increased, the Somerset County vaccination site at Raritan Community College could handle a capacity upwards of 1,500 to 2,000 shots within a day, Rudy said.
The general public vaccine supply has been earmarked separately from those for some of the most vulnerable populations.
About 452,000 doses have been put aside at the federal level for long-term care facilities, the health commissioner said Wednesday.
Statewide, 680,601 vaccinations in total had been administered as of Thursday, including 577,175 first doses and 100,686 second shots, according to state reported data.