Hudson County to open vaccination facility

The site will offer the COVID-19 vaccine to essential healthcare workers first

Hudson County will begin distributing the vaccine to healthcare workers next week. Photo by Haris Mm / Shutterstock.com
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Hudson County will begin distributing the vaccine to healthcare workers next week. Photo by Haris Mm / Shutterstock.com

Hudson County will open its first COVID-19 vaccination site at the USS Juneau Center, Office of Emergency Management in Kearny next week, according to Hudson County Executive Tom DeGise.

The center will be operated by the Hudson Regional Health Commission and overseen by the newly established Hudson County Vaccine Task Force, which will coordinate vaccine response across several county departments.

But just because the vaccination site will be up and running doesn’t mean the county will stop offering COVID-19 testing. It will continue to partner with Hudson Regional Hospital in Secaucus to provide tests.

According to Dec. 15 COVID-19 state data, Hudson County has 37,925 positive cases and 1,483 confirmed deaths from COVID-19. 373 New positive cases were reported on Dec. 15.

“Our nation has eagerly awaited the approval of a vaccine to combat the COVID-19 crisis, and Hudson County has worked diligently for the past nine months to prepare for this moment,” DeGise said. “While we cannot let our guard down just yet, knowing our community will receive its first shipment of vaccines in the coming days assures all of us that we are one step closer to reaching the light at the end of this dark tunnel. As we enter into the cold winter months, Hudson County will continue its robust testing efforts and will have an aggressive vaccination program in place for when the vaccine becomes more publicly available.”

Vaccine distribution

According to New Jersey guidelines, essential healthcare workers will be the first to be vaccinated; the same goes for the Hudson County site.

Those eligible include doctors and nurses in private practices, dentists, hygienists, community and public health workers, funeral directors, paid and unpaid Emergency Medical Technicians, and those working in labs with infectious material. Medical personnel who work at local hospitals will be vaccinated by their employers, according to the county.

“The Hudson Regional Health Commission is working closely with County Executive DeGise to ensure that the first wave of vaccinations is administered efficiently and effectively,” said Executive Director of HRHC Carrie Nawrocki. “In the coming days, our team of health experts will be working around the clock to begin operations at Hudson County’s first vaccination center and start distribution immediately after receiving our first shipment.”

DeGise and the Hudson County Office of Emergency Management are working with available partners to ensure the vaccination site has the necessary staffing and equipment.

Members of the Hudson County Vaccine Task Force that are helping include the Hudson County Improvement Authority and County Department of Roads and Public Property, which are preparing the site for use; the Hudson County Schools of Technology, which is providing technical and IT assistance; and Hudson County Sheriff Frank Schillari and the Hudson County Sheriff’s Office, which is assisting with crowd and traffic control.

DeGise is monitoring the vaccine distribution process along with all 12 mayors and local health officers. He will make regular reports available to elected officials and relevant county stakeholders. The Vaccine Task Force anticipates holding its first briefing with Hudson County mayors later this week.

The testing facility at the USS Juneau Center is at 110 Hackensack Ave. in Kearny.

According to the county, vaccines will be administered by appointment only. Additional information about how those eligible can register to be vaccinated at the county site will be available in the coming days.

For updates on this and other stories check www.hudsonreporter.com and follow us on Twitter @hudson_reporter. Marilyn Baer can be reached at Marilynb@hudsonreporter.com.