• Post category:coronavirus

The Johnson & Johnson COVID-19 vaccine has officially arrived in NJ. Here’s what Essex County plans to do with its initial 2,000 doses.

Essex County has seen high praise for the way it has rolled out its COVID-19 vaccination program, getting a nod from U.S. Sen. Cory Booker as a “national model” for success. As of Wednesday, the county has given out 81,070 first doses and 40,080 second doses over the past 53 days at its five centers.

Like other places in New Jersey and across the nation, Essex County has struggled to meet a demand for vaccines that is far outpacing the available supply, however.

Essex County recently rolled out an online schedule that allows residents to see if any appointments are available at its vaccination centers. But appointments have been disappearing off the tracker nearly as soon as they’re posted, leaving many residents checking back daily with no success. (See the website here)

JOHNSON & JOHNSON VACCINE IN NEW JERSEY

Other New Jersey counties are taking different approaches as to how they use their allotments of the Johnson & Johnson vaccine.

In Camden County, the COVID-19 vaccination site in Gloucester Township will receive 6,000 doses of the Johnson & Johnson vaccine this week, county officials announced Thursday morning. The Camden County Board of Commissioners said it will immediately begin contacting those who have appointments in the late spring, summer, and fall to move their appointments up.

In Hudson County, the main coronavirus vaccination site in Kearny will be able to administer more shots this week, as the county has received 1,500 doses of the new Johnson and Johnson vaccine to administer and distribute, a county spokesperson said Wednesday.

Gov. Murphy offered an update on the status of the Johnson & Johnson vaccine on Monday.

“We do not – and this is an important point – we do not have any clarity on what the next couple of weeks may look like in terms of J&J supplies,” Murphy said, adding that the company is “currently ramping up production.”

“We are being as conservative as possible in not calculating for anything else beyond this initial 70,000-plus dose haul until we are told otherwise,” the governor said. “So we’re going to do all that we can to make sure our distribution and administration of these doses is strategic and well-planned.”

On Wednesday, Murphy said that a major goal of the state’s plan with the Johnson & Johnson vaccine is to get it to vulnerable residents, including those with disabilities who don’t live in group homes.

“Sort of the implicit arrangement with the counties is that that’s the sort of person that we want them to go to,” Murphy said.

The state recently expanded its list of people who are eligible to get a vaccine. Find out if you qualify by going here.

OTHER VACCINE SITES

In addition to county and town-run sites, New Jersey has cleared the way for other vaccination sites across the state, including Federally Qualified Health Centers, supermarkets, pharmacies and medical offices. Some are accepting appointments, but others are not. People can visit COVIDvaccine.nj.gov to preregister.

In addition to the 70,000 doses of the Johnson & Johnson vaccine that the state will receive, another 22,500 doses are going to CVS and Rite Aid pharmacies that are participating in the Federal Retail Pharmacy Program, Murphy said.

It’s unclear which locations will receive the Johnson & Johnson vaccines, or how they will be divided between the two companies.

Send local news tips and correction requests to eric.kiefer@patch.com

Learn more about posting announcements or events to your local Patch site. Sign up for Patch email newsletters.