This week New Jersey paused the administering of the J&J COVID-19 vaccine upon the recommendation, of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and the Food and Drug Administration pending further investigation into six reported incidences of severe blood clots following vaccinations. This pause will not delay the opening of vaccine eligibility to all New Jersey residents on Monday, April 19.
The Governor also noted that FEMA has begun offering funeral cost reimbursements, up to $9,000, to financially help families who lost a loved one due to COVID-19. Anyone who lost someone to COVID-19 going back to the beginning of the pandemic may be eligible for assistance. See more eligibility information. To apply, applicants must call 1-844-684-6333 as applications are only be taken by phone.
COVID Data for Thursday, April 15, 2021:
- 4,699 new positive cases for a total of 804,037 confirmed cases
- 30 new confirmed deaths for a total of 22,023 confirmed deaths
- The rate of transmission is at 1.08
- 1,002 cases linked to 221 school outbreaks since August 2020
- 4,350,920 vaccine doses have been administered, including 2,809,654 first doses and 1,630,837 second doses. 47% have been Moderna, 51% Pfizer, and 2% J&J.
This week out of an abundance of caution and following the guidance of the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) and the U. S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA), the New Jersey Department of Health paused the administration of the Johnson & Johnson (Janssen) vaccine across all vaccination sites in the state. The CDC and the FDA are reviewing the data involving six reported cases of serious adverse effects—among nearly 7 million doses administered in the U.S.—in women between the ages of 18 and 48 who received the J&J vaccine. Symptoms occurred 6 to 13 days after vaccination. In these cases, a type of blood clot called cerebral venous sinus thrombosis was seen in combination with low levels of blood platelets. Both the CDC and FDA have said that these adverse events are extremely rare.
According to the FDA and CDC, individuals who have received the vaccine and develop abdominal pain, leg pain, shortness of breath, severe headache, or other unusual symptoms within three weeks after vaccination should contact their health care provider.
All New Jersey vaccination sites have been told to cancel or put on hold appointments for the J&J vaccine until further notice. For individuals scheduled to receive the J&J vaccine, the Department will work with all vaccination sites to make arrangements for administering an alternative two-dose vaccine. It was noted in New Jersey, just over 244,000 doses of the Johnson & Johnson vaccine were administered prior to hitting pause, and no similar adverse effects have been reported. The state will await further guidance from the federal government.
As previously reported, New Jersey has launched a COVID-19 vaccine appointment finder to assist in scheduling an appointment.
In addition, CVS, Walgreens, and Rite Aid continue to reserve appointments for/prioritizing educators and childcare workers. The State has also set aside a minimum of 10,000 doses each week for seniors aged 65 and older with Walmart. The State’s call center has been reaching out to seniors on the waiting list to help them make appointments.
The State hotline 855-568-0545 continues to assist residents, with live agents from 8:00 a.m. to 8:00 p.m., in getting information on how to register, as well as how to schedule vaccine appointments as people become eligible. The agents remind residents that there is no out-of-pocket expense to get vaccinated and that the two vaccines are not interchangeable. The State continues to encourage the general public to pre-register for eligibility for the vaccine online. Individuals will be permitted to input their personal, contact, health insurance, and demographic information. Those who are immediately eligible based on screening questions will be able to schedule an appointment.
Executive Order 235 – Extending the public health emergency for additional 30 days. This includes all Executive Orders issued under the Governor's authority under the Emergency Health Powers Act as well as all action taken by Executive Branch departments and agencies in response to the Public Health Emergency presented by the COVID-19 outbreak.