Murphy touts improving vaccine data — and predicts ‘quantum jump up’ in vaccines at end of month

File photo Gov. Phil Murphy, in a patriotic facemask.

Gov. Phil Murphy said the state hit two key vaccination milestones this weekend: More than 2.5 million shots administered, including more than 500,000 at the state’s six mega sites.

“The progress is undeniable,” he said.

And, while he proudly states the state needed just seven days to get from 2 million to 2.5 million — after it needed three weeks to jump from 1 million to 2 million — he said the biggest jumps are a few weeks away.

Murphy expects the state to maintain its steady progress for the next three weeks, but then expects a massive jump at the end of March and first week in April, thanks to the Johnson & Johnson vaccine reaching full production as well as a promised increase in output from Pfizer and Moderna.

“Bear with us for the next few weeks, as it is getting better, but incrementally — and then, you’re going to see a quantum jump up,” he said.

Murphy, perhaps responding to a New Jersey Advance Media report this weekend that criticized the vaccine rollout, rolled off a number of statistics for where the state compares to others, including:

  • Daily doses administered: Murphy said New Jersey ranks eighth among all states in doses administered daily — an average of 67,000 administered doses per day;
  • Total doses administered: Murphy said the state is 10th, with the approximate 2.5 million doses. He said 861,000 are now fully vaccinated;
  • Throughput: Murphy said the state is now 12th in terms of getting the vaccine supply from delivery to the state to the arms of New Jerseyans.

“All of this is being achieved against the backdrop of vaccine demand continuing to far outpace our vaccine supply,” he said.

Other notes from Monday:

Health metrics

The state’s rate of transmission jumped to 1.06, the first time it’s been over 1.0 in weeks. A look at some other numbers:

  • Positive tests: 2,201 positive PCR test results and 421 new presumed-positive antigen tests;
  • Positivity rate:13 (from last Thursday);
  • In hospitals: 1,786;
  • In ICUs: 393;
  • On ventilators: 237;
  • Discharged/admitted: 179/175;
  • Confirmed COVID fatalities: 20 (total is now 21,193, with 2,331 more assumed to be COVID-related).

Final word

Murphy on expected passage of the $1.9 trillion stimulus this week:

“For us in state government, the anticipation of more than $6 billion in direct federal support will give us additional degrees of freedom in meeting the many needs of our residents within the new budget I proposed two weeks ago.

“There is so much more in this bill that is good for New Jersey and good for our sister states. All in all, the American Rescue Plan means that New Jersey can get moving forward again.”