Weather wreaks havoc on vaccine supply in New Jersey

The bad weather in the deep south and middle of the country has put a stranglehold on vaccine distribution in New Jersey, forcing officials in Bergen and Monmouth counties to push back appointments because the shipments haven't arrived.

Video Transcript

- Well, New Jersey's also sounding the alarm about how the weather will impact vaccine distribution. This as that state also grapples with the growing concerns over variant cases. Governor Murphy says that concern is preventing the state from further loosening restrictions. New Jersey reporter Anthony Johnson is live in Newark with the very latest. Anthony.

[SIRENS]

ANTHONY JOHNSON: Liz, let's start out with a little bit of good news. They announced today that the state's six big mega sites have now vaccinated over 200,000 people. But some of the vaccine locations here in the state of New Jersey are going to have to put their operations on hold. And once again, it's all due to the weather.

The bad weather in the deep South and the middle of the country has put a stranglehold on vaccine distribution here in New Jersey. Officials in Bergen and Monmouth Counties have pushed back appointments because the shipments haven't arrived. Predictions of snow here tomorrow could mean more delays.

THOMAS A ARNONE: We're set up. Unfortunately, we've had a few situations where we've had these blurbs, so we-- bumps into roads, I should say-- where we've dealt with them. We will continue to deal with them.

ANTHONY JOHNSON: The commissioner says those with appointments at the two Monmouth County sites are being notified and appointments rescheduled. The site at Newbridge Medical Center in Bergen County is moving appointments to Friday and Saturday. State officials say all they can do is wait for the supplies to arrive.

JUDITH PERSICHILLI: We're closely monitoring the information coming from the CDC on our shipments. Most vaccination sites in our state have been using inventory on hand to ensure that appointments are kept.

ANTHONY JOHNSON: The governor says, despite the temporary setback, the vaccine program will move ahead when supplies arrive.

PHIL MURPHY: We will get there. There's just no question in my mind, I think, collectively in our minds. Every single New Jerseyan who wants to be vaccinated will be vaccinated.

ANTHONY JOHNSON: The governor also indicated that things in the state would be opening quicker if the COVID variants weren't making things so challenging, and urging residents not to travel to Brazil and South Africa because those new strains spread so quickly. Meanwhile, leaders in the Black church here in Newark are continuing to do their part to show the community that getting the shot is both safe and effective.

PAMELA JONES: I just believe that this is going to give us more of an opportunity than it will be to give us something that we'll be sorry for later.

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ANTHONY JOHNSON: Still, the number of African-Americans getting the shot, it still remains to be very, very low at this point in time. As for those dosages that they've been waiting for it to arrive from the middle of the country, this afternoon we checked back with the officials. So far, they haven't arrived here in the state. That is the latest live from Newark, New Jersey, Anthony Johnson, Channel 7 Eyewitness News.