Murphy says New Jersey needs more COVID-19 vaccine supply, megasite at Rowan College of South Jersey reopens

6abc Digital Staff Image
Tuesday, January 26, 2021
Gov. Murphy says NJ needs more COVID vaccine
To reach 70% of the population, the governor said they need shots for 4.7 million people.

DEPTFORD TWP., New Jersey (WPVI) -- 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 said they need shots for 4.7 million people.

"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."

A new site in Hudson County will be open Tuesday and Governor Phil Murphy will visit.

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

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.

The megasite at Rowan College of South Jersey was also closed Monday, but reopened Tuesday.

Gloucester County issued this statement on Tuesday morning:

"The Gloucester County Mega Vaccination Site and the State of New Jersey are currently working to accommodate all individuals without a second appointment date.

As confirmed by the State, on Friday, January 29, 2021 all individuals who have already received their first dose of the COVID-19 vaccine prior to January, 29, 2021 will be automatically scheduled for their second dose. These individuals should expect to receive an email that includes a QR code (matrix barcode) with the date and time of their next appointment.

If you did not give an email at the time of your first dose, you will get a text or phone call.

All individuals who receive their vaccine on or after January 30, 2021, will automatically receive a second dose appointment from the State."

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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.

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 see 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.

New Jersey Governor Phil Murphy said 17,000 calls flooded the new vaccine hotline and is urging the public for patience.

The call center will be professionally staffed with live agents from 8 a.m. to 8 p.m. each day. The number to call is 1-855-568-0545.

Callers can get questions answered, learn about where to get vaccines, and go over eligibility.