New Jersey's 10th Legislative District

Holzapfel, McGuckin & Catalano

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10th District Lawmakers: ‘How Many More Vulnerable Seniors Will Get Sick Because of This Inexcusable Delay?’

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Blame Murphy Administration for Failing to Meet Federal Deadline to Begin Vaccinations in Nursing Homes

The State’s plan was to start administering COVID-19 vaccinations to residents of nursing homes today, but bungled paperwork and a missed deadline means the first doses are delayed until Dec. 28 at the earliest. The embarrassing detail is the latest blemish for New Jersey’s trouble-plagued Department of Health, Senator Jim Holzapfel, Assemblyman Greg McGuckin and Assemblyman John Catalano said today.

Sen. Jim Holzapfel, Asm. Greg McGuckin and Asm. John Catalano blasted the Murphy Administration for failure to meet a filing deadline that will delay COVID-19 vaccinations in nursing homes for at least another week. (DoD via Flickr)

“How many more vulnerable seniors will be infected by this deadly virus because of this inexcusable delay? It is unthinkable that after the virus killed more than 7,100 senior citizens when it swept through nursing homes earlier this year, the department responsible for those facilities would not get this right,” the 10th District Legislators said in a statement.

“Once again, the Murphy Administration has failed our long-term care facilities, our most vulnerable medically fragile residents, and the families that love them.”

The plan to start giving injections today required the state to register long-term care facilities by the federal deadline of Dec. 7. The department was at least one day late.

“Knowing full well that the largest percentage of COVID deaths have occurred in nursing homes, this should have been Job One for the health department staff,” the lawmakers said. “Saving lives and preventing a repeat of the tragic outbreaks in confined facilities must be a priority, but the commissioner excused the failure on ‘the volume of information that had to be inputted.’

“That is malfeasance, plain and simple, and it puts lives at risk. Breakdowns like this are unacceptable. We are not talking about painting a fence, where you can come back the next week and finish it up.

“Within the Department of Health, there appears to be no sense of urgency and no appreciation for the value of life.”

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Jim Holzapfel

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