Jersey City is vaccinating under-served communities

FEMA program and Johnson & Johnson vaccines expand local efforts

A new program will begin on March 8 to vaccinate Jersey City residents through places of worship in the Bergen/ Lafayette and Heights neighborhoods.

According to the county, it will help launch the new community vaccine distribution program backed by the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) through a partnership with Governor Phil Murphy and Jersey City Mayor Steven Fulop.

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The program is set to provide 3,000 first and second doses targeted at under-served communities in Jersey City.

Vaccination efforts expand

Jersey City began its vaccination program through Bespoke Health at the Bethune Center in January and just last week opened a second site at Ferris High School.

The city hopes to open a vaccination site in each ward to ensure that residents have easy access, but each site requires state approval. The sites will open in a phased approach as they are approved and more vaccines are allocated, according to the city.

According to Mayor Fulop, when the city first started vaccinating residents, the weekly allocation from the state was between 300 and 500 doses per week, and the “demand has greatly outweighed the supply.”

Since then, the state has increased the volume, and last week it received its highest allocation so far, 2,500 doses administered to Jersey City in a single week.

According to a March 2 email from the mayor to residents, so far the city has administered 6,531 doses of the Moderna vaccine, with 5,243 being first doses and 1,288 being second doses.

“Jersey City’s vaccination program is expanding week by week with our second distribution site recently opening at Ferris High School, and this new FEMA site will be a great help in scaling our distribution up further,” Fulop said. “I would like to thank Governor Murphy and County Executive DeGise for their continuing assistance in protecting Jersey City residents.”

FEMA selected New Jersey as the first state to be a recipient of a community-based vaccine program.

The state selected 10 municipalities for community-based vaccination sites, analyzing municipalities that have been disproportionately impacted by COVID-19 that are also some of the state’s most diverse and socially and economically challenged communities.

The initial phase of the community-based vaccination partnership includes Somerset, Trenton, Elizabeth, Vineland, and Patterson. 15,000 residents of these communities will be vaccinated through the end of March.

The second half of the initial phase includes Camden, Newark, Orange, Pleasantville, and Jersey City.

Fulop said his administration has been working closely with JCTogether on the initiative and last week held a conference call with more than 50 faith-based leaders regarding their respective churches, mosques, or temples facilitating sign-ups for vaccines.

He asked residents to reach out to their places of worship to secure a time for vaccination.

“I know many of you are anxious to get vaccinated. You have our commitment that at the local level we will continue to work as quickly as possible to set up an easy process for you as the allocation of doses continues to increase,” Fulop said. “This is our single biggest priority as a City. “

Johnson & Johnson vaccines in North Hudson

Hudson County received 1,500 doses of the Johnson & Johnson vaccine, which will be distributed this week after it was recently granted emergency use authorization by the Food and Drug Administration.

According to the county, a majority of those doses will be allocated to North Hudson, the hardest to reach communities in Hudson County.

This week, the county-run vaccination center in Kearny is prioritizing residents over age 75.

Palisades Medical Center received 1,100 doses of the Pfizer vaccine to help vaccinate any Hudson County resident who is 75 years or older.

The county notified each town’s Health Officer of this vaccination opportunity, and Palisades Medical Center has already been in touch with North Bergen and West New York.

Other towns are currently working to assist their senior residents with scheduling appointments at the hospital.

The county hared a list of 2,600 seniors over 75 with the hospital who have registered online to be vaccinated but have not yet received a vaccine.

So far, the Hudson County Vaccine Distribution Center in Kearny has administered nearly 20,000 doses.

“As we have said for weeks, Hudson County has succeeded in building out our vaccine distribution capacity, but we need more doses to ramp up our program to the level required to make sure our residents are safe,” said Hudson County Executive Tom DeGise. “While we still need more vaccine supply, these latest developments will allow our county site and our municipal partners to expand our operations and give more of our residents these critical, life saving vaccines.”

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

Eligible individuals can make an appointment by visiting

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


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