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Hoboken opens vaccination site with Riverside

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Dr. Raj Brahmbhatt and staff from Riverside Medical Group
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Dinorah Vargas received the Moderna COVID-19 vaccine at Hoboken University Medical Center
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Dr. John Rimmer said the vaccine acts like a "personal trainer" for the immune system.
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Dr. Raj Brahmbhatt and staff from Riverside Medical Group
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Dinorah Vargas received the Moderna COVID-19 vaccine at Hoboken University Medical Center
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Dr. John Rimmer said the vaccine acts like a "personal trainer" for the immune system.

Hoboken and Riverside Medical Group have partnered to provide COVID-19 vaccinations to healthcare workers who live in Hoboken and Hudson County.

According to the city, Riverside Medical Group will begin administering vaccines provided by the State of New Jersey at Riverside’s medical office at 1111 Hudson St. to Hoboken and Hudson County healthcare workers who fall into the 1A category identified by the state.

All Hoboken and Hudson County healthcare workers in the 1A category can now schedule an appointment to receive the vaccine in Hoboken by calling Riverside at 201-942-9314 until 5 p.m. Dec. 28, and between 8 a.m. and 7 p.m. on weekdays starting Dec. 29.

“I’m thrilled Riverside has opened up a COVID-19 vaccination site in Hoboken,” said Mayor Ravi Bhalla. “Hoboken is committed to ensuring Riverside can administer as many vaccines as possible to our courageous healthcare workers who have gone above and beyond to keep our residents safe throughout the pandemic. We look forward to expanding this program with Riverside and our partners to vaccinate as many people, as efficiently as possible in the weeks and months to come.”

“We at Riverside Medical Group are proud to be one of the first medical providers in New Jersey to provide healthcare workers the vaccine we’ve all been waiting for,” said Dr. Raj Brahmbhatt. “Riverside began the COVID-19 pandemic by opening one of the East Coast’s first public, rapid COVID-19 testing sites in Hoboken, and we’re now doing our part to vaccinate all New Jersey healthcare workers who need it. We look forward to partnering with Hoboken and our neighboring communities to provide even more vaccine sites to the public in the near future.”

Category 1A

New Jersey has identified healthcare workers falling into the 1A category as “paid and unpaid persons serving in health care settings who have the potential for direct or indirect exposure to patients or infectious materials and long-term care residents and staff.”

Examples of those in Category 1A include licensed healthcare professionals like doctors, nurses, pharmacists and dentists; medical staff like receptionists, janitors, clergy, mortuary services, laboratory technicians; consultants, per diem, and contractors who are not directly employed by a healthcare facility; unpaid workers like health professional students, trainees, volunteers, and essential caregivers; community health workers, doulas, and public health professionals like Medical Reserve Corps, as well as EMS; paramedics; funeral staff; and autopsy workers; among others.

Healthcare workers must bring identification and proof of classification as a healthcare worker at the time of vaccination at Riverside.

Certain Riverside locations have been approved by the New Jersey Department of Health to administer the vaccine in accordance with the specifications and guidelines issued by the state.

For Hoboken and Hudson County residents falling into the 1A category who would like to receive the Moderna vaccine at Riverside Medical Group’s other New Jersey locations, call 201-863-3346 between 9 a.m. and 5 p.m., Monday through Friday.

For a list of Riverside’s locations in New Jersey, visit: https://www.riversidemedgroup.com/adult-medicine-locations/.

After the initial phase of vaccinating healthcare workers in the 1A category, Riverside and Hoboken anticipate working with the state and the New Jersey Department of Health to use public facilities in Hoboken to administer the Moderna vaccine for expanded populations.

HUMC vaccinates staff

Last week, officials at Hoboken University Medical Center (HUMC) administered the first doses of the Moderna COVID-19 vaccine to healthcare workers at the hospital.

Dr. John Rimmer, director of the emergency department and Hoboken resident, along with Dinorah Vargas, an Intensive Care Unit employee, were among the first to receive the vaccine.

Bhalla called the vaccination a milestone and an important first step.

“Our courageous healthcare workers getting vaccinated demonstrates that there is in fact light at the end of the tunnel, and better days ahead for our city,” he said.  “Once the vaccine becomes available to the public, I encourage everyone to get one. It’s safe, effective, and will protect our community and frontline heroes, like Dr. Rimmer and Ms. Vargas.”

Rimmer said the vaccine was a personal trainer for the immune system, noting how it works to combat the virus.

“It literally teaches and strengthens your immune system to make antibody against the virus, without the risk of being exposed to the actual virus,” he said. “These antibodies will then seek and destroy the virus before it has the chance to replicate itself. While any new healthcare treatment should be scrutinized and evaluated close, the first studies on this vaccine were robust and very encouraging. I will be telling my family to get the vaccine and encourage yours to as well.”

“It has been a long, hard road, but we can end it once everyone gets the COVID-19 vaccine,” said Vargas. “On behalf of healthcare workers, I ask everyone to get the vaccine once it becomes available to them so we can get back to normal, and keep everyone healthy.”

To find more information on the vaccine, go to https://www.nj.gov/health/cd/topics/covid2019_vaccination.shtml

Get tested

According to the most recently released numbers from the city, as of Dec. 22 there have been 1,822 known, confirmed cases of COVID-19 since the start of the pandemic. Fatalities have remained unchanged at 33.

HUMC reported treating 31 patients with COVID-19, including nine Hoboken residents as of Dec. 22.

Bhalla urged all residents and business employees who gathered indoors with multiple households during the holidays to get tested, asking those to wait five to seven days after the potential exposure to minimize false-negative results.

Those with symptoms do not need to wait to get tested.

To schedule a test at one of Hoboken’s testing sites go to

https://www.hobokennj.gov/testing

The New Jersey Department of Health will host COVID-19 testing on Jan. 8 from 1 to 7 p.m. in the Hoboken Housing Authority community room at 221 Jackson St. for Hudson County residents and Hoboken business employees.

The PCR test will be administered on a first-come, first-serve basis; no appointment is necessary.

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.

 

 

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