New Jersey Health Department takes back 400 vaccine doses from Ocean County
The Ocean County Health Department and local government officials are trying to process the news that the State, who provided them with 3,400 doses of the Moderna vaccine recently, informed OC officials on Friday that they are taking back 400 of those doses.
There have been approximately 177,000 vaccine doses, between first and second, given out so far to Ocean County residents but only about 60,000 actually took place in Ocean County, with many traveling out of the area to a Mega-Site to get vaccinated because Ocean County is not being given the adequate amount of doses needed.
Heading into this week, the State took 400 doses needed for the first shot from Ocean County out of a shipment of 3,400.
"That was some unfortunate news that we received because we've been doing a lot of planning over the last couple weeks in trying to get that expansion plan because we were hearing that there's more vaccine coming in the very near future," Ocean County Public Health Coordinator Dan Regenye tells Townsquare Media News.
There hasn't been much guidance coming from the State Department of Health or Governor Murphy in terms of why there is a vaccine shortage and why they're taking 400 doses away from Ocean County.
"We have not received any explanation other than that less vaccine was coming into the state of New Jersey and it's just frustrating because I speak to these residents and the seniors of Ocean County and the seniors, in general, are some of the hardest hit in getting the most severe illness," Regenye said. "We're doing everything we can to get vaccine supply to them but it's just not there, it's not coming into Ocean County for whatever reason."
They do continue the push to get more vaccines into Ocean County.
However, the county did receive 800 doses of the Johnson and Johnson vaccine.
In the meantime, they are working on trying to set up more ways to get a vaccine.
"We've been meeting and doing a lot of work internally trying to get to a point where we have a vaccination distribution model and trying to set up a 3rd vaccination site in the western part of the county," Regenye said.
The proposed site in Manchester would follow the other two big sites in Ocean County, in Stafford and in Toms River.
"We're looking to set up a vaccination site there the week of the 22nd," Regenye said.
However, the loss of vaccine to the State may delay those plans.
"We're looking to finalize some of those details but we have to look at where we can absorb that loss of vaccine," Regenye said.
While the game planning continues for the Manchester site, mobile vaccination and drive-thru clinics are another possibility in the near future.
"We want that in our arson, so to speak, to be able to offer to the residents, that we can take it up in different parts of the county," Regenye said.
Ocean County is also in the beginning stages of implementing a homebound vaccination plan, which may be delayed as well due to the vaccine shortage right now.
"We have the plan to be able to expand and we're trying to get more partners and agencies to assist us in that effort," Regenye said.
Ocean County Public Health Coordinator Dan Regenye explains what happens next: