As the COVID-19 vaccine rollout continues in Secaucus, the point of distribution (POD) is expanding.
The POD, which was previously an outdoor heated tent and trailer, moved from outside the Recreation Center at 1200 Koelle Boulevard to inside.
The first COVID-19 vaccine at the POD was administered on Dec. 30. Mayor Michael Gonnelli said that Secaucus was one of the first towns to open a municipal POD.
“My primary goal as your mayor is to keep people safe during the pandemic,” Gonnelli said. “Obviously, the vaccine is a key component to achieving this goal.”
Gonnelli said that the recent expansion of who is eligible has presented the town with logistical difficulties.
On Jan. 14, the state move forward in Phase 1B to allow individuals at high risk to receive the vaccine. That includes seniors over the age of 65 and anyone between 16 and 64 with serious medical conditions.
According to the state, Phase 1A includes health care personnel and long-term care facility workers and residents. Phase 1B includes first responders and individuals at high risk. Additional essential workers and others at high risk may be vaccinated later in Phase 1B and or in Phase 1C. The general public will receive the vaccine in Phase 2.
As Phase 1B continues, those in Phase 1A can still be vaccinated.
Town Administrator Gary Jeffas said the town had received a limited number of vaccines. The small supply of Moderna vaccines limits the number of people the town can vaccinate.
Jeffas said the town vaccinated 150 people during the week of Jan. 11.
“We managed this because there was a limited group of people who could receive the vaccinations,” Jeffas said.
Based on the expansion of those eligible to receive the vaccine, there will now be thousands of eligible individuals, according to Jeffas.
“The quantities we receive will allow us to vaccinate far less than that amount,” Jeffas said.
The town does not know from week to week how many vaccines they will be receiving. Therefore, Jeffas said the town can schedule only a limited number of appointments on the vaccine website.
Jeffas said that the town must follow the state vaccination schedule and asked for residents’ patience.
To register go to SecaucusNJ.gov/Vaccine.
“We’re in the early stages, and we know this process will get better,” Gonnelli said. “It will take months for all who wish to be vaccinated.”
Gonnelli asked those who are healthy to consider holding off on getting vaccinated so the town can vaccinate the most vulnerable members of the community first.
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