TRENTON, N.J. – Despite the state’s short supply of Covid-19 vaccines, Assemblywoman Nancy Munoz said that there is no reason unprecedented demand should result in a chaotic rollout.
“While there is no best way to roll out a vaccine in short supply, we are seeing it done the wrong way,” said Munoz (R-Union) who spent more than 35-years working as a registered nurse. “There are cancer patients and elderly residents who have been put on hold while healthier, and possibly more technology inclined residents, were able to secure appointments. It’s gut-wrenching, sad and enraging.”
On Monday, the state opened up a vaccine hotline for those who don’t have access to a computer or are seeking more information on how to get an appointment for a vaccine. More than 17,000 calls came in to the hotline in the first hour it was open.
“People are desperate to get appointments for their loved ones who are our most vulnerable population. It seems as though people are able to leapfrog over residents who should be our priority,” the assemblywoman said. “Let’s make sure those who are getting the vaccine are the ones that need it most.”
Munoz suggested that people should be allowed to schedule appointments even if it’s weeks away and based on conservative estimates of when doses become available. Right now, New Jersey gets 100,000 vaccine doses from the federal government each week and officials expect that number to increase. It has received nearly 1 million doses in total and administered 605,397 doses to date.
“Just let people schedule appointments,” said Munoz. “People should not be calling a phone hotline or going online only to find out they have to wait. It is far easier to change a plan when you have one. If the plan doesn’t work, that needs to change, not the goal.”
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