SOMERVILLE – “Just be patient.”

That’s the advice Dr. Namitha Reddy, director of the Somerset County Department of Health, gave to county residents about the anxiety and confusion about receiving the COVID-19 vaccine.

“We are vaccinating as many doses we get a week,” Reddy said at Tuesday’s county commissioners meeting.

Somerset County is receiving 700 doses a week, Reddy said.

By Tuesday, the county had received 5,400 doses since the end of December from the federal government and had administered 4,000 doses. By the end of this week, with more clinics scheduled, 90% of the available vaccines will be given,

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A COVID-19 vaccine manufactured by the British-Swedish firm AstraZeneca appears to provide strong protection three months after just one dose while also curbing spread of infections, researchers said Wednesday.

British Health Secretary Matt Hancock said the study supports a strategy of delaying the second shot so more first doses can be delivered to more people. Researchers also found a 67% reduction in positive “swabs” among those vaccinated – crucial news because if no virus is present, the virus can’t spread.

AstraZeneca has not yet applied for emergency use authorization for its vaccine in the U.S. Just two vaccines, by Pfizer-BioNTech

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Like many New Jerseyans, Marilyn Stark has spent hours navigating a bureaucratic maze of online portals and an inundated call center trying to secure a second COVID-19 vaccine appointment for her husband and a first shot for herself.

The lack of doses and a stumbling rollout on the national and state levels have led people like Stark and others to question whether Gov. Phil Murphy’s goal to vaccinate 4.7 million New Jerseyans within six months and usher in a return-to-normalcy is achievable.   

“The vaccine will sure be lifesaving and life-changing, if you receive it,” said the 77-year-old Fort Lee resident.

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