More COVID vaccine slots canceled in NJ, due to shipment delays
More than a week of delays in COVID-19 vaccine shipments from the federal government have led to canceled appointments across the state, including five days of disrupted clinics in Monmouth County alone.
Appointments set for Monday were canceled, Monmouth County Commissioner Director Tom Arnone and Commissioner Deputy Director Susan Kiley announced on Sunday.
“The County still has not gotten notification that the vaccines have even shipped yet,” Arnone said in a written statement.
“We have been patient, but it is time to hold people accountable for this delay,” he added.
Previously, appointments on Wednesday, Thursday, Friday and Saturday were canceled in Monmouth County, as severe weather across much of the country had hampered expected shipments.
Other counties also were dealing with the impact of 230,000 doses of vaccine failing to arrive in the state during the week of Feb. 14.
“All vaccination appointments scheduled on Monday, February 22nd are canceled because Essex County has not received our shipment of vaccines from the Federal government,” Essex County Executive Joseph DiVincenzo said on Saturday via Twitter.
DiVincenzo added that those appointments would be rescheduled.
Statewide, 1,651,766 total vaccine doses had been administered as of Sunday mid-morning, Gov. Phil Murphy announced — of which 1,134,626 were first doses and 505,465 were second doses.
That’s 92,197 more shots given since Friday afternoon — more than half of which (49,465) were second doses, based on the data shared at the state briefing on Friday, when Murphy and Health Commissioner Judith Persichilli cited the weather challenges that had grounded FedEx and UPS flights since last week.
Federal officials had expected to deliver some of the delayed doses over the weekend, Persichilli said on Friday.
Delayed Pfizer vaccine arrived at all six of the state's mega sites for vaccinations on Saturday, a state health department spokesperson said Sunday night in response to New Jersey 101.5.
At other vaccination sites, delayed shipments of Pfizer and Moderna were expected on Monday, they added.
Essex County’s five vaccination centers did administer second doses to 1,275 people, DiVincenzo said separately on Saturday.
Those whose appointments were canceled last week in Monmouth County would be contacted next week to be rescheduled, Kiley said in the same statement. Monday appointment holders should report a week later, on March 1, to the same county location at the time of their originally scheduled shot.
Second doses, or “booster” shots of the vaccine can be administered any time between 28 and 42 days after the first dose, according to Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) guidance.