FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Jan. 19, 2021
HEALTH DEPARTMENT GIVES UPDATED INFORMATION ABOUT VACCINE AVAILABILITY
The Princeton Health Department is currently experiencing a high volume of calls and emails pertaining to the availability of the COVID-19 vaccine. At this time, there are some important developments that are going to slow the process of distributing the vaccine. The most significant of those developments is the recent acknowledgement by the federal government that for the moment, there is a shortage of vaccine. This unfortunate news comes at a time where our state has ramped up efforts to get shots into people’s arms by creating over 300 clinics, mobilizing a substantial vaccination force of volunteers and paid personnel to staff them, only to have those efforts impeded by this unexpected turn of events.
The good news is that prior to this temporary shortage, the Mercer County Public Health Officers’ Association mobilized a series of clinics that vaccinated many eligible people. Upon Gov. Murphy’s announcement last Wednesday expanding access, eligible persons on various established waitlists were notified in order and made appointments based on the number of available vaccine doses on hand. This process has accommodated as many eligible people as our supply of vaccine on hand can accommodate. The slow vaccine rollout is a national issue impacting our statewide distribution efforts and affecting all of us.
Gov. Murphy’s expansion of eligible vaccine recipients on January 14, 2021, means New Jersey residents and people working in NJ who may live out of stateover the age of 65 are eligible to receive the Covid-19 vaccine. Additionally, adults of any age with underlying conditions are at increased risk of severe illness from the virus that causes Covid-19 are also eligible. This announcement has resulted in local and state vaccination resources becoming overwhelmed in our efforts to schedule appointments. Even as the Mercer County vaccination clinic at CURE Arena in Trenton is expected to have its soft opening later this week, with another clinic scheduled to open Jan. 28 at Mercer County Community College, the shortage of vaccines continues to slow its distribution into the arms of eligible people. The CURE Arena site is expected to receive 800 doses per week. Currently, the state is receiving vaccine doses in increments of 100,000 doses per week; state officials point out that the state had been expecting a supply of 400,000 doses per week to meet our demand by now.
Another component of the rollout that has been slower than anticipated is the federal component seeing to the distribution of vaccines to the residents and staff of our long-term care centers. These vaccinations are being handled by CVS and Walgreens.
Local clinics will again be scheduled when we receive the doses to administer. We will announce any new local opportunities to receive the Covid-19 vaccine through emails to those on our waitlist, via press release, to various local news outlets and on our website www.princetonnj.gov and social media pages. We will also share information about vaccine availability at sites throughout our region that we become aware of. Currently four of six of New Jersey’s Mega Clinics are operating. The remaining two are expected to be up and running soon.
Please continue to follow all COVID-19 safety measures such as wearing a mask, washing your hands frequently, keeping six feet distance, disinfecting surfaces and covering your face when sneezing or coughing. Clinics throughout the state of New Jersey and other states, are all impacted by the current temporary vaccine shortage. Persons preregistered through the state web portal will also be notified of locations to schedule an appointment as they become available. The following are several places that may offer appointments and other information as it becomes available.
We will continue to put forth our best efforts to serve you and accommodate the local distribution of the COVID-19 vaccine. Thank you for your patience!
For questions about coronavirus, the New Jersey Department of Health has a COVID-19 Hotline, 24/7, at 1-800-222-1222. The Princeton Health Department can be reached at (609)497-7608 for additional information.
All press contact should be directed to Fred Williams, by e-mail, firstname.lastname@example.org