New Jersey will open six vaccine “mega-sites” in January, in service of the state’s efforts to vaccinate 70% of its population within six months, Gov. Phil Murphy announced Friday.
The sites will be distributed across the state, and will be in place to assist ongoing efforts to vaccinate frontline health care workers early in the new year.
New Jersey Health Commissioner Judy Persichilli said Friday that the state’s efforts to quickly vaccinate an estimated 4.7 million Garden State residents will hinge on vaccine availability.
“We expect demand will outpace supply,” she said.
Persichilli said that the supply of doses from the federal government was already falling short of expectations.
“The previously expected second tranche of Pfizer doses for next week was expected to be 86,775,” she said. “Now, based on what is entered into the federal ‘Tiberius’ platform, we see we are expecting only 53,625. That’s a reduction of 38%.”
Persichilli added that the total expected dosages to be delivered to New Jersey in the month of December had been revised downward by 33%, according to the federal database.
Murphy said he had yet to get a satisfactory reason why New Jersey, along with every other state, was slated to get fewer doses of the Covid-19 vaccine than initially expected.
“I spoke with Pfizer,” he said. “They have no idea why this is being done.”
“Pfizer said to me, personally, ‘we want you to know this is not us,'” Murphy said, adding that he will bring up the issue on a call with the White House this weekend.
New Jersey reported an additional 3,975 infections on Friday, along with 44 deaths. Hospitalizations went down for the second day in a row, with at least 3,582 patients hospitalized with confirmed or suspected Covid-19 as of Thursday night.
“These numbers have begun moving in the right direction, which is down,” Murphy said before adding, “two days certainly do not make a trend.”
Note: These numbers were released by New Jersey’s public health agency, and may not line up exactly in real time with CNN’s database drawn from Johns Hopkins University and the Covid Tracking Project.