NJ booster shot rollout to a million people could start this week
New Jersey officials are making final preparations to begin administering COVID booster shots as soon as the feds give final approval for the plan.
A special Food and Drug Administration advisory panel has unanimously recommended boosters be made available to those 65 and older and to high risk individuals with underlying medical conditions who received their second dose of the Pfizer vaccine at least 6 months ago
During the latest COVID update on Monday, Gov. Phil Murphy said final FDA approval is expected in the coming days, perhaps as soon as Wednesday.
“In the meantime we are continuing to prepare to push the additional doses necessary out, through our vaccine distribution network, we’re working to make sure that we have the supply ready to go once the CDC and FDA give us their final booster guidance,” he said.
Murphy said “to administer these booster shot we will be working through our existing partnerships, with healthcare providers and community pharmacy partners among others.”
State Health Commissioner Judith Persichilli said the booster shots will be given at existing outlets, strong active county sites and probably one mega site to begin with and then adding as we add more individuals.”
She said the CDC’s advisory committee on immunization practices will meet this Wednesday and Thursday to offer further recommendations on the usage of Pfizer boosters.
Persichilli said there are about 430,000 New Jersey residents 65 or older, and if the booster shot plan includes other high-risk individuals with underlying medical conditions between the age of 16 and 64 and health care workers, “it could be as many as 1.1 million immediately eligible."
The governor said once the feds give the booster shot OK, they will be available immediately for those who have received the initial Pfizer vaccine dosages only.
A complete list of vaccination centers is available at covid19.nj.gov/finder.
You can contact reporter David Matthau at David.Matthau@townsquaremedia.com.