Over 1 million New Jersey residents have registered to receive the COVID-19 vaccine using the recently-launched New Jersey Vaccine Scheduling System (NJVSS). The Garden State hopes to vaccinate 4.7 million residents within the next seven months, which represents over 70% of the adult population.
The following categories are the population groups eligible to receive the vaccine in order of priority: healthcare workers and nursing home staff/residents (category 1a), essential workers and individuals over the age of 75 (category 1b), individuals older than 65 and individuals with preexisting health conditions (category 1c), and the general population (category 2).
Currently, only individuals within category 1a are eligible to be vaccinated in New Jersey, in addition to firefighters and police officers, who make up a small minority of the 1b category. In neighboring New York, Governor Andrew Cuomo extended eligibility to include all of those in category 1b, because even though category 1a has not yet been entirely vaccinated, administrative checks to verify eligibility were serving as a bottleneck, leading to unused vaccine stock.
New Jersey Governor Murphy has said that in the Garden State a lack of vaccine supply is the foremost bottleneck. “We don’t have the supply from the feds that we need, there’s no doubt about that. Within the context of a large supply-demand imbalance, I like everything we’re doing inside of the state to get prepared but they don’t have the doses they ultimately could use at full capacity.”
New Jersey healthcare officials have already administered over 200,000 vaccine doses, including some second doses to frontline healthcare workers. New Jersey has not been administering vaccines as quickly as a number of other states, but Governor Murphy says he believes that more people have been vaccinated than official reports (which are apparently delayed) indicate.