State’s Vaccine Hotline Now Open – But Still No Guarantee Of Appointments

Gov. Murphy Press Conference, Jan. 25

  • Gov. Murphy said that the Vaccine Hotline is now live at 855-568-0545 and is open 8 a.m. to 8 p.m., seven days a week. It is staffed with 250 trained individuals that can answer questions on vaccinations, assist with making appointments, finding local vaccination locations, and answering other questions.  By noon today there were already 58,000 calls. It was stressed that there is no guarantee that an appointment can be made by calling this number.
  • Overall, everyone is complaining about the difficulty in getting appointments at all sites. Murphy said this was a supply and demand issue. He said he felt this laid to waste the fear of vaccinations theory.
  • Vaccination issues at the Rowan/Gloucester County Vaccination Mega-Site were brought up again. Health Commissioner Judy Persichilli said that all appointments at the site were cancelled today because they didn’t have any vaccine. These appointments were rescheduled. There was also the issue of people not having their second dose appointments scheduled before they left the location after receiving their first dose. Persichilli said that it is standard practice that the second appointment is made before leaving.
  • Persichilli said that the number of doses distributed to the various vaccination locations is determined by inventory on hand, through put, population density, disease burden on the area, and equity.
  • The state has partnered with Walmart to give vaccinations to congregate care living facilities in the state such as intellectually and developmentally disabled group homes. Right now Walmart pharmacies are a closed pod for vaccinations, meaning that they are not given out at the stores now to the public. Walmart personnel travel to the group homes to vaccinate the individuals.
  • Of the 1,385 long term care facilities in the state, 838 have received vaccinations. This was 76,697 doses. Two reasons given for some facilities not receiving their vaccinations yet were: outbreak at the facility where no one from outside was allowed in; and the facility wanted to partner with their local pharmacy.
  • Murphy said that if the positive case numbers get better, there is a possibility that parents will be allowed in to see indoor high school sports.
  • Murphy signed an Executive Order today that will allow in-person collection of signatures for the June primary.
  • The breakdown of COVID deaths in the state are white 55.4%, Hispanic 19.2%, blacks 16.8%, Asian 5.1%, other 3.5%.
  • The statewide positivity for tests drawn on Jan. 21 was 9.62%. In North Jersey 9.12%, Central Jersey 9.64%, South Jersey 10.94%.
  • LOCAL LONG TERM CARE FACILITY CHANGES: Atrium: +10 staff cases (30); United Methodist +1 staff case (27); Advanced Subacute: +1 staff case (19); Manorcare – Washington Twp.: +32 resident cases (61); Jefferson: +1 resident case (64); Eagleview: +7 staff cases (36); Friends +1 staff case (29); Merion Gardens +2 resident deaths (3); Golden: +1 resident case (48); Lindsay +1 resident death (4).

   — by Karen E. Viereck, Editor/Publisher

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