How NJ distributes vaccine supply not based on just how many are sick
More vaccinations are coming to New Jersey. How the doses get distributed across the state's 21 counties will depend on the state's "parity formula" that takes equity and "social vulnerability" into account.
New Jersey is expecting almost half a million doses of the Pfizer, Moderna and Johnson & Johnson vaccine to arrive in the Garden State by the beginning of next week, a lot more than recent shipments although not "the quantum leap" that Gov. Phil Murphy said he hoped for.
During the latest COVID update in Trenton on Wednesday, state Health Commissioner Judy Persichilli said this week about 416,000 doses of vaccine were delivered. On Monday, the state expects 267,930 doses of Pfizer, 174,800 of Moderna and 51,700 J&J's Jansen shot.
She said health officials figure out how many doses will go to which dispensing sites while the second booster doses already automatically allocated.
She said officials will then look at all of the more than 600 dispensing locations to apply a parity formula to make sure the recipients are as diverse as the state and the places with the highest infection and death rates get attention.
The state also takes into account poverty rates and how many people lack transportation.
After that, officials consider how many vaccines each site can reasonably distribute each day.
"We don’t want to give them more than they can handle because then the doses wind up on the shelf," Persichilli said.
Persichilli said three vaccine vans will soon be dispatched around the state.
“Our goal overall in the state is that everyone will be within a 15-minute walk or 20 to 30-minute drive to a vaccine site, so there should be no reason why someone cannot get access to a registered vaccine site.”