There has been much in the news about the process of getting vaccinated to protect from COVID-19 disease and local efforts to deliver the vaccine. The rollout, on a national scale has encountered some supply chain and other logistical issues, but locally, on our smaller scale, things are progressing well. This is the first of what will be regular updates on the vaccination process in here in NJ, Mercer County, and the Municipality of Princeton. These early stages of the distribution process among the healthcare workers will no doubt provide data and information that will lead to a smoother, better process in the coming months as we work through the phases of distribution.
Last week the Mercer County Health Officers Association began process of vaccinating county healthcare workers in accordance with Phase 1A vaccine distribution guidelines. The coming weeks will see several more of these localized micro clinics across Mercer County to help expedite the vaccination process for the healthcare workers seeking a vaccination. The vaccinations available at this time are for phase 1A healthcare workers. Last week’s two-day clinic vaccinated 438 healthcare and EMS workers. Subsequent clinics during Phase 1A over the next two weeks include paid and unpaid persons serving in healthcare settings who have the potential for direct or indirect exposure to patients or infectious materials. Phase 1A also includes long-term care residents and staff. Phase 1A Healthcare workers who work in a hospital or healthcare setting are receiving vaccinations on site at their workplace (Hospital, Long Term Care facility, etc.)
As of 1/4/2021 healthcare workers not directly affiliated with a medical facility, such as first responders (EMS, Fire, Police) can choose a site from this list of where Phase 1A personnel can receive the covid-19 vaccine. These locations will provide vaccinations throughout all phases of the rollout. Please note that you must meet the qualifications of the phase currently being serviced in order to receive the vaccination.
Those not yet eligible can learn more about the vaccine program at covid19.nj.gov/vaccine.
As phase 1A moves forward in January, New Jersey will launch its online vaccine scheduling system to further help Phase 1A recipients to identify vaccination locations and schedule appointments. https://covid19.nj.gov/pages/vaccine
Phase 1B of vaccination will include frontline essential workers and individuals over 75; Phase 1C will include other essential workers, adults 65-74, and persons aged 16-64 with medical conditions that increase the risk for severe COVID-19.
As we move forward, there are currently no set dates for any one phase of the vaccination distribution to begin or end. Those parameters will be determined by the NJ Department of Health as they evaluate each phase of the distribution process. New Jersey has planned mega sites and smaller regional sites that will be staffed and run by local health officials. These sites are currently in their final stages of planning and will become available as the distribution of the vaccine widens. In addition to these sites, the vaccine will also then be available at local pharmacies and doctor’s offices and care clinics. Time frame estimates (which are subject to change) currently show the vaccine becoming available to the general public in early to late spring. Healthcare workers can email firstname.lastname@example.org with their questions
The current version of the NJ vaccination plan can be viewed here.
Sign up to receive the NJ DOH Vax Matters newsletter here.
For more information on coronavirus (SARS-2) and COVID-19:
- Princeton’s Coronavirus Resource Page: princetoncovid.org
- State of NJ COVID-19 Resource Page: covid19.nj.gov
- CDC – General Information on Coronavirus: https://www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/index.html
- CDC: Frequently Asked Questions: https://www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-ncov/faq.html