Posted Wednesday, December 30th, 2020
The State of New Jersey updated its website information on the state’s phased-in plan for providing COVID-19 vaccinations, emphasizing again that the only people eligible to receive vaccinations at this time are certain healthcare workers.
Vaccinations are not yet available for the general public.
The updated information on who is currently eligible for the vaccine and when different groups in New Jersey will become eligible may be found at the New Jersey COVID-19 Information Hub.
The state also has two specific links important to health care workers looking to:
Vaccinations in New Jersey began on Dec. 15 at hospitals, targeting paid and unpaid persons serving in their health facilities. Under Centers for Disease Control and Prevention guidelines being following by the state, vaccinations are being phased-in with a priority given to key healthcare workers and other professionals.
Governor Phil Murphy explained again this week that demand for vaccines is much higher than supplies.
Information released earlier this week by the state noted that New Jersey is partnering with Rite Aid to provide vaccinations to home care and hospice staff. Information about scheduling appointments is being provided through home health agencies and their industry associations.
As of December 28, through the Federal Pharmacy Partnership for Long-Term Care Program with CVS and Walgreens, New Jersey has nearly 300 long-term care facilities scheduled for vaccinations. That includes the state’s three veterans memorial homes and means over 83,000 residents and staff are slated to receive vaccinations through the beginning of February 2021.
Additional sites will be added in the coming weeks.
New Jersey’s plan is to roll out COVID-19 vaccines step-by-step to serve all adults who live, work, or are being educated in the state. While the State’s current plan is highlighted below, the plan will continually be updated in response to the changing circumstances of the pandemic.
New Jersey’s goal is to vaccinate 70 percent of the adult population – or 4.7 million adults – within six months.
Currently, vaccines are available to those who are in Category 1A which includes paid and unpaid persons serving in health care settings who have the potential for direct or indirect exposure to patients or infectious materials and long-term care residents and staff.
Once vaccine availability expands, those in Category 1B will begin receiving vaccines. Individuals who fall into Category 1B include persons 75 years and older as well as frontline essential workers who are in sectors essential to the functioning of society and are at a substantially higher risk of exposure to COVID-19.
The next category of individuals, Category 1C, are adults 65 and over and adults with underlying medical conditions.
After these phases are complete, the general public will be eligible for vaccination.
New Jersey was awarded over 400,000 vaccines in the month of December. Of that, approximately 120,000 doses have been reserved for long-term care facilities and 280,000 doses have been allocated to hospitals and community sites.
After nursing home residents and staff are vaccinated, CVS and Walgreens will begin to vaccinate thousands of residents and staff in other congregate settings including Assisted Living facilities, the five state developmental centers, federal housing for seniors and group homes and other long-term residential facilities. New Jersey also has a network of community vaccination sites for vulnerable residents who live in congregate settings not eligible for this federal partnership.
Six mega sites throughout New Jersey will serve as vaccination hubs for phased priority groups, part of a critical network of over 200 sites tasked with carrying out the state’s COVID-19 vaccination plan fairly and equitably:
The six state-coordinated sites are not open, but are expected to begin opening in early January and will immediately be in position to vaccinate front-line healthcare workers and then continue in a phased approach depending on the supply of vaccine to New Jersey. After these phases are complete, then the general public will be eligible for vaccination. The timing of the progression among the groups depends on the supply of vaccine to the state.
The New Jersey Department of Health will announce an online portal to enable the various groups in the initial phases and eventually the general public to find a vaccination site and register and schedule an appointment. Some vaccination sites may offer walk-up or on-site registration as well.
Details of the state’s vaccination plan, updated Dec. 15, can be found here.
The Department of Health also has a COVID-19 Vaccination webpage.
The Department is finalizing a public dashboard which will show doses administered and some demographic information. Data will be updated weekly and refined over time.
How much vaccine New Jersey will receive will depend on several factors including the population of essential and healthcare workers, current spread or prevalence of the disease, and vaccine availability.