When COVID-19 booster shots get their final date of availability, New Jersey will likely reopen some of its former megasites to speed their distribution.
The Food and Drug Administration can approve a six-month window, which would make them available as soon as Sept. 20, according to New Jersey Health Commissioner Judith Persichilli.
“If it moves to six months we know about 2.5 million people will be eligible and we will be prepared through megasites, county sites and all of our existing sites to get as many people vaccinated as possible,” she said Monday.
The state opened six megasites when the COVID-19 vaccination first became available in December. As demand waned and more retailers such as CVS and Walmart had ample supply, they were shut down.
State Police Superintendent Pat Callahan said he is working to determine which of the six sites will reopen.
Murphy is confident the supply will be able to meet the demand.
“We are proven to have one of the brightest and most efficient distribution and delivery programs in the entire country,” he said. “We are working to increase it further in anticipation of the booster and the demand that will go with it.”
It could be a moot point, however, as Dr. Anthony Fauci said Sunday on ABC’s “This Week” that despite President Joe Biden’s wish for a six-month window, the federal government will likely go with eight months.
“Although we’re sticking with eight, we’re remaining flexible, that if the data tells us differently, we’ll make adjustments accordingly,” Fauci said.