New Jersey health officials are eyeing the approval of the Moderna and Johnson & Johnson COVID-19 boosters in a matter of days, opening the floodgates for millions of more people who would need an added jab.
Last week, the Food and Drug Administration approved a J&J booster for adults who received the shot two months ago, and certain adults who got the second Moderna shot at least six months ago.
Of the 12 million total doses given in New Jersey, 3.6 million were from the first Moderna jab and 3.2 million from the second, while 452,993 were from the J&J jab.
There are roughly 1.1 million New Jerseyans now eligible for the Pfizer booster, which is given at least six months after the second shot.
Nearly 60,000 third doses or boosters of Pfizer have been administered, and over 262,000 extra doses of the Moderna shot.
Like with the Pfizer booster, the federal recommendation is for those above the age of 65, those with preexisting medical conditions, and anyone employed in high-risk settings such as health care, public transit and grocery workers.
“We are preparing for the approval of boosters … and we will be ready to provide those doses to you,” Gov. Phil Murphy said during a regular COVID-19 press briefing on Oct. 18.
New Jersey Health Commissioner Judith Persichilli said that the addition of the Moderna and J&J boosters, plus Pfizer, would entail a “wide-scale distribution model to handle any demand.”
The state currently has one vaccination mega-site in Gloucester County, and there are plans to “have two or three more throughout the state,” Persichill said. One top of that is a network of hundreds of hospitals, pharmacies and doctors offices up and down the state.
Whatever site the state partners with needs to be able to “maintain the stabilization of the vaccine through ultra-cold storage” and needs to be “available to deliver vaccines to places where people feel very comfortable going for vaccines.”
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