N.N.J.’s decision to put the city on lockdown is a win for vaccine safety advocates.
But the decision could mean a bump for those who oppose mandatory vaccination.
The state of New Jersey has about 4,500 cases of the coronavirus and more than 50,000 people have been infected, according to the latest figures from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.
But N.Y. has no coronaviruses, meaning the state can’t get the vaccine.
The New Jersey governor and other state leaders have called for the state to use a “state of emergency” that would allow the state’s health department to use all of its resources to vaccinate the entire state.
Chris Christie and other top officials in New Jersey, including the state legislature, have also been vocal supporters of the city of Newark’s move.
Nancy DeMaria, a spokeswoman for the governor, said the state would follow the federal government’s lead and not vaccinate people in the state unless there was a national pandemic.
She said the CDC and New Jersey’s health departments will review the matter, but said the governor was “not concerned about the city’s decision.”
“The Governor of New York has also indicated that he is willing to consider this option for New York state,” she said.
DeMaria said the city is still in contact with the CDC about the matter.
She added the state is also working to make sure its state-run vaccination program is as robust as possible.
Natalie Bocchino, a nurse practitioner who is based in Newark and also works for the city, said she has seen a steady increase in patients who have gotten vaccinated in the past week or so.
Bocchinos co-wrote a letter to Christie in March urging him to allow the city to vaccine.
The city says it’s in talks with the U.S. Centers for Health Care and Research, but Bocshinos said she didn’t know how much the two sides are talking about.
“I would be shocked if this isn’t the biggest vaccine-related announcement yet, but I think that’s an understatement,” she wrote.
“It’s a really important step in the right direction and it’s a step that I would like to see the governor take.”
In a statement, the city said the lockdown will protect health workers and patients.
“Nationally, the number of new cases of coronaviral illness has steadily increased since April,” the statement read.
“We will continue to make our best efforts to maintain public safety and reduce risk to New Jerseyans.”
The governor has called the state of emergency to prevent the spread of the virus and to make the city safer.
New Jersey officials have been under pressure since April to make good on a vow they made in January to keep the city off the streets.
The state has taken steps to increase security, including sending armed officers to protect the governor and legislative chambers and deploying more troops.
Norman Borowitz, a professor at the Johns Hopkins School of Public Health, said New Jersey would have been better off if it had just done the right thing and kept its city from being in the crosshairs of the epidemic.
Borowitz said the vaccine announcement could have given the city and state a chance to negotiate the cost of vaccinating people in New York, which has been hit with the worst coronavaccine outbreak in the U-S.
“You don’t want to put all the resources into this, but it’s worth a shot if the city has to do it,” he said.
Borisowitz said New York’s decision not to vaccidate could also have had a ripple effect.
“If New York had gone forward with the vaccination, you’d have had New York at the forefront of the vaccine rollout in the world,” he wrote.
“If the governor hadn’t taken this stance, New York would probably have been at the front of the pack.
This decision to not vaccine New York could have had far-reaching consequences for the vaccine program in the country.”
Borovitz said that, in a worst-case scenario, the coronas pandemic could be even worse for New Jersey.
“The pandemic is not going to stop, and the pandemic will continue for years to come,” he added.
“The vaccine will be a bigger part of the national response than it is now.”