By: Michael Mandarino, Follow South Jersey Managing Editor
SOUTH JERSEY — On Monday, Governor Phil Murphy announced that New Jersey has now administered 2,000,000 doses of the COVID-19 vaccine — another step in the state’s road to recovery from the current global pandemic.
According to New Jersey’s COVID-19 dashboard, 2,039,427 doses of the COVID-19 vaccines have been administered. Of those, 691,459 were second doses that fully vaccinated people against the pandemic.
At his regularly-scheduled coronavirus briefing on Monday, Gov. Murphy once again lamented the low supply of vaccines available to New Jersey residents. However, he was also excited by the two-million milestone, which was achieved less than a month after New Jersey hit 1,000,000 vaccine doses administered.
It took the state three weeks to add a million vaccinations after initially reaching 1,000,000 doses administered on February 8. The state reached 250,000 vaccines administered 29 days after New Jersey’s rollout began on December 15. It took just 10 days for New Jersey to go from 250,000 to 500,000 doses administered and 10 more days after that to reach 1,000,000.
Vaccine news has been mostly good from both New Jersey and the entire country’s perspective. Last weekend, Johnson & Johnson’s single-dose vaccine model was granted emergency use authorization by the Food and Drug Administration. Gov. Murphy said that roughly 70,000 doses of Johnson & Johnson’s model are expected to be delivered to New Jersey this week. Johnson & Johnson is expected to ship 20,000,000 doses of its model throughout the nation by the end of March.
In New Jersey, Gov. Murphy expanded the state’s eligibility requirements to receive the COVID-19 vaccine, effective March 15. Educators and support staffers at schools with students ranging from preschool to 12th grade will be eligible to receive the vaccine two weeks from Monday. In addition to them, the following groups of people will become eligible on the 15th:
- Childcare workers in licensed and registered settings
- Public and local transportation workers, including bus, taxi, rideshare, and airport employees
- NJ TRANSIT workers
- Motor Vehicle Commission staff
- Public safety workers who are not sworn law enforcement or fire professionals, including probation officers and fire safety inspectors
- Migrant farm workers
- Members of tribal communities
- Individuals experiencing homelessness and those living in shelters, including domestic violence shelters
Gov. Murphy also announced that the following groups will become eligible to be vaccinated in New Jersey beginning on March 29:
- Food production, agriculture, and food distribution
- Eldercare and support
- Warehousing and logistics
- Social services support staff
- Elections personnel
- Medical supply chain
- Postal and shipping services
- Judicial system
Although more and more people will become eligible to receive the vaccine as time progresses, some community members are still struggling to book appointments and get a shot in their arm. In order to offset some of these struggles, the state is “actively conducting outreach” to those aged 75 and older who haven’t been vaccinated yet to schedule appointments, according to Gov. Murphy.
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