On January 29, federal, state, and county health officials reported that Hudson County was at very high risk for COVID-19.
Before this dire warning, on Jan. 26, Gov. Phil Murphy, U.S. Representatives Albio Sires and Bill Pascrell, and New Jersey Health Commissioner Judith M. Persichilli joined Hudson County Executive Tom DeGise at the Hudson County Vaccine Distribution Center to provide local, state, and federal updates on efforts to administer the COVID-19 vaccine to eligible individuals. Murphy, Pascrell, and DeGise met with Hudson County residents as they received their first doses at the USS Juneau Center in Kearny.
“Over the past 10 months, Hudson County has worked tirelessly to keep our communities safe during these unprecedented times, from providing a robust COVID-19 testing program to being the first county in New Jersey to open a public vaccination center,” DeGise said. “Our efforts will not conclude until every resident has access to this lifesaving vaccine, and we will continue to direct all resources at our disposal to our vaccination center to administer every dose we receive in an expedited manner.”
As of Jan. 25, 5,671 first doses and 152 second doses had been administered at the county-run site. An additional 305 individuals were scheduled to be vaccinated on Jan. 27.
“New Jersey is committed to an equitable distribution process of the COVID-19 vaccine to ensure that those most at risk are first in line to be vaccinated,” Murphy said. “We can only accomplish this through partnerships with our local and county governments, and I applaud County Executive Tom DeGise and his team for supporting our state’s aggressive vaccination efforts.”
He said that with more than 130 county-run and community-based vaccine sites across the state, in addition to six mega-sites, “we’re ready to rapidly scale up vaccine distribution when federal supply meets demand.”
According to the governor, even with the limited weekly supply New Jersey is receiving, the state is averaging approximately 25,000 vaccinations per day across its six mega sites and through community-based, county, and local government-sponsored sites.
“We continue to ask for patience as we await more vaccine doses coming into our state,” Murphy said. “We have built the infrastructure from the ground up. All we need are these doses, and we will be able to fire on all cylinders. We will get there. There’s no question about that. It won’t be tomorrow or probably not next week, but we will get there, and everyone who wants to be vaccinated will be vaccinated.”
On Jan. 25, the state launched its toll-free vaccination hotline to assist residents with general questions about vaccines, identifying whether or not they’re currently eligible for a vaccination, and to help them identify locations nearest them where they can get vaccinated.
The hotline at 855-568-0545 is staffed from 8 a.m. to 8 p.m. every day. Within the first hour that the number was operational, 17,000 calls came in.
So far, 2,098,659 people have preregistered for the vaccine on the state’s website at covid19.NJ.gov/pages/vaccine.
Hudson County distribution
Hudson County received 3,500 vaccines this week that will be administered at the county facility and municipal sites. The Hudson County Vaccine Distribution Center was allocated 1,300 of this week’s doses and currently has the capacity to administer up to 1,200 doses per day when sufficient supply is made available.
Pascrell tweeted that he and the other officials thanked frontline heroes and made it “clear we won’t let up one iota until everyone can get a vaccine.”
Sires said he will continue to work to get more vaccines.
“Since the beginning of the COVID-19 pandemic, our focus has remained on securing the necessary resources and funding for our communities to locally address the pandemic,” Sires said. “County Executive Tom DeGise has done a tremendous job in providing for Hudson County during these difficult times, and we will continue to fight in Washington for additional vaccinations until they are in the arms of every American.”
The vaccination center is overseen by the county’s Vaccine Task Force and operated by the Hudson Regional Health Commission.
It is open by appointment only and is operating on Mondays, Wednesdays, and Fridays.
Those currently eligible include doctors and nurses in private practices, dentists, hygienists, community and public health workers, funeral directors, paid and unpaid Emergency Medical Technicians, uniformed police and firefighters, those working in labs with infectious material, individuals over the age of 65, and those with underlying health conditions.
The center is at the USS Juneau Center, Office of Emergency Management at 110 Hackensack Avenue in Kearny.
For more information or to register and schedule an appointment, visit hudsoncovidvax.org
According to the state’s COVID-19 dashboard, 54,914 Hudson County residents have tested positive for COVID-19 since the pandemic’s start as of Jan.27. 1,669 residents have died due to the virus.