ESSEX COUNTY, NJ — The first round of COVID-19 vaccines for a wave of frontline health care workers were given in New Jersey on Tuesday, getting a big sigh of relief in Essex County, one of the hardest-hit in the state when it comes to the coronavirus. But although the general population still doesn’t have access to the shots, a plan is already in the works for when more doses come down the pipeline, officials say.://Essex County Releases Plan To Distribute COVID-19 Vaccines

 

 

Essex County Executive Joseph DiVincenzo Jr. released more details about the county’s blueprint to distribute the COVID-19 vaccine, noting that there are now five “vaccine centers” planned – an increase from the four he announced last week.

The centers will be located in Livingston, Newark, West Caldwell and West Orange. All Essex County residents will have to go to one of those locations.

 

The only exception will be for residents of Newark, a city that has seen 45 percent of the county’s cumulative COVID-19 cases as of Friday. Newark residents can go to any of the sites, DiVincenzo said.

LIVINGSTON

  • Where – Livingston Mall, former Sears building, 112 Eisenhower Parkway, Livingston (Entrance is in the back).
  • Towns Served – Livingston, Belleville, Maplewood, Millburn, Newark, Orange and South Orange

NEWARK – ESSEX COUNTY COLLEGE

  • Where – Essex County College, 303 University Avenue, Newark (Gym entrance on West Market Street)
  • Towns Served – Newark, East Orange and Irvington

NEWARK – DONALD PAYNE SCHOOL

  • Where – Essex County Donald M. Payne, Sr. School of Technology, 498-544 West Market Street, Newark (this site will be set up at a later date)
  • Towns Served – Newark, East Orange and Irvington

WEST CALDWELL

 
 
  • Where – Essex County West Caldwell School of Technology, 620 Passaic Avenue, West Caldwell
  • Towns Served – West Caldwell, Bloomfield, Caldwell, Fairfield, Glen Ridge, Newark, North Caldwell and Roseland

WEST ORANGE

  • Where – Former Kmart building, 235 Prospect Avenue, West Orange
  • Towns Served – West Orange, Cedar Grove, Essex Fells, Montclair, Newark, Nutley and Verona

According to Essex County officials, here’s how it will work:

“When vaccinations are available, the sites will be open from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. Residents can make appointments at www.EssexCOVID.org or by calling 973-877-8456. Appointments only can be made after the County receives the vaccines. Vaccinations will be given in two doses. Residents making reservations to receive the vaccination will receive two appointments. It is critical that residents attend both appointments. Residents will be asked to provide their medical insurance information and their insurance provider will be billed $16.94 for the first dose and $28.39 for the second dose. If a resident does not have insurance, the cost of the vaccine will be covered by the Health Resources and Services Administration’s Provide Relief Fund. There will be no out-of-pocket expenses charged to residents.”

County officials continued:

“Each vaccination site is set up in a similar fashion. Residents entering the site will first be pre-screened to verify they have an appointment. Those who do not have an appointment will not be allowed to receive the vaccine that day. Residents will then proceed to a registration table where they will be provided with their paperwork for their visit and receive a card to remind them about their second appointment. After being inoculated with the vaccine, residents will be required to wait 15 minutes while they are monitored for any side effects. Social distancing guidelines will be followed at every site and areas will be sanitized on a regular basis throughout the day.”

Here’s the priority list for the vaccinations, county officials said:

“Limited doses of the vaccine will be available initially, and the state Department of Health has compiled a phased in approach to ensure the vaccine is distributed in a fair and equitable manner until larger quantities of the vaccine become available. Those who are eligible to receive the vaccine first are healthcare workers who may have contact with infected patients or infectious materials and people who are at a higher risk of severe COVID-19 illness, including those over the age of 65 and those with underlying health issues. Next to receive the vaccine will be critical populations which include, but are not limited to, healthcare workers (hospital, long-term care, home care, urgent care and clinics, dialysis centers, dental offices, funeral homes, pharmacies public health, group homes, EMS); first responders, food and agriculture workers, transportation, education and child care, energy, water and sanitation, law enforcement and government; adults at higher risk (long term care residents, people ages 65 and older, those with underlying medical conditions, immunocompromised, incarcerated, homeless shelters, group homes and other congregate settings such as psychiatric facilities); and others at high risk (communities that have disproportionately acquired or died from COVID-19, colleges and universities, people with disabilities and people who are under- or uninsured). The general population will be vaccinated last.”

“Very soon, vaccines for the coronavirus will be available, and working in partnership with our 22 municipal mayors, health officers, public safety officials and emergency management personnel, we have developed a comprehensive plan to administer vaccines to Essex County residents,” DiVincenzo said.

Essex County Health Officer Maya Lordo encouraged local residents to get vaccinated.

“While we respect those who do not want to receive the vaccine, from a public health perspective, getting inoculated will help tremendously to stop the spread of this deadly virus and create herd immunity,” Lordo said.