COVID-19 vaccine distribution efforts to expand

Teachers can soon get vaccinated, and a new distribution site is in the works

OEM Coordinator Junior Ferrante gave the weekly COVID-19 video update on March 4.
×
OEM Coordinator Junior Ferrante gave the weekly COVID-19 video update on March 4.

Bayonne is readying for an expansion of its COVID-19 vaccination efforts, according to Bayonne Office of Emergency Management (OEM) Coordinator Junior Ferrante. The city has been vaccinating eligible residents since the first doses of the Moderna vaccine were distributed to hospital personnel at Bayonne Medical Center last December.

According to Ferrante, the city had been receiving only enough doses to vaccinate around 100 residents per day. That number has increased recently as the city’s supply has expanded.

“With the recent modest increases in our dosage allotments, we are now scheduling approximately 120 residents per day,” Ferrante said. As of last week, Ferrante said the city had vaccinated approximately 6,000 residents.

According to Ferrante, currently more than 10,000 residents are eligible for the vaccine in Bayonne. On March 15, eligibility will expand to include teachers, school staff, and other essential workers.

The city has been working on a second vaccination site. When the city secures enough doses to support the site, the location will be announced, Ferrante said.

Where to get vaccinated

Stop & Shop at Route 440 and LeFante Way has begun administering the Johnson & Johnson COVID-19 vaccine, Ferrante said. To schedule an appointment, go to stopandshop.com/pages/ss-pharmacy.

Currently, those eligible include healthcare personnel, first responders, and those at high risk, which includes those 65 and older and those between ages 16 and 64 with medical conditions.

To register at Bayonne Medical Center, call 201-858-6088 or email bayvax@baynj.org. Leave a message with a name, date of birth, and contact. The vaccine hotline is available weekdays between 8 a.m. and 5 p.m.

When vaccines are available, the city will reach out to registered residents to schedule an appointment. Do not call or e-mail the city multiple times about registering because it hampers vaccination efforts.

“We have your information and someone will be calling you, but it takes time to get everyone who is currently eligible,” Ferrante said. “As we get more doses, our ability to get more people each day will help speed up this process.”

To register at the Hudson County Vaccination Distribution Center, go to hudsoncovidvax.org. To register at the uptown Rite Aid at the corner of Broadway and West 54th Street or Riverside Medical Group at 432 Broadway, go to covidvaccine.nj.gov.

To register at the RWJBarnabas at 519 Broadway, go to rwjbh.org. Residents can also register at one of the state’s vaccination mega-sites at covidvaccine.nj.gov.

Residents must get their second doses at the same location where they received their first.

COVID-19 data

Ferrante said that data from the Bayonne Health Department shows that the transmission of COVID-19 in the community continues to decline week after week.

Currently, 130 residents were positive for COVID-19 as of March 4. Since the beginning of the pandemic, 114 residents have died from COVID-19.

The number of hospitalizations has been fluctuating in the teens, as most residents recover at home. There were 16 COVID-19 patients at Bayonne Medical Center as of March 4. OEM does not have data on Bayonne residents in other hospitals.

The drop in active COVID-19 cases and the loosening of restrictions seem to be indicators that the city is “heading in the right direction,” Ferrante said. Residents are encouraged to practice “COVID-sense” by wearing masks, social distancing, and practicing good hygiene.

Where to get tested

A drive-up COVID-19 testing site in cooperation with Immediate Care-Walk In Co. of Red Bank has opened in the parking lot behind Don Ahern Veterans Stadium near the foot of West 25th Street, on Tuesdays, Thursdays, and Saturdays. Walk-up testing will also be available.

On Tuesdays and Thursdays, testing will be from 1 to 7 p.m.; on Saturdays, 9 a.m. to 2 p.m. No appointments needed. For more information, go to immcare.com.

Residents with an appointment from their physicians can be tested at BMC. Drive-thru testing at the hospital has ceased.

The RiteAid at 54th Street and Broadway offers free testing for all residents over 18 via drive-thru. Visit riteaid.com to register. Residents do not need to be symptomatic, nor do they need a prescription.

CityMD at 904 Bayonne Crossing Way offers tests for walk-ins only; call 551-497-5675 for more information.

Residents can get tested at Broadway Care Pharmacy at 516 Broadway, and Total Care Pharmacy at 596 Broadway. Call 201-437-5100 for Broadway Care Pharmacy and 201-535-5080 for Total Care Pharmacy.

Testing is available from Dr. Ahab Gabriel at 449 Ave. C, and Hudson DNA and Testing at 150 Pulaski St. Call 201-374-1103 for Dr. Gabriel and 201-994-6594 for Hudson DNA and Testing.

Call 551-214-3500 for an appointment at RWJBarnabas Health at 519 Broadway.

To get a test at BHMG United Medical at 988 Broadway, call 201-339-6111 or visit unitedmed.com.

CityMD and BMC are conducting antibody testing. Residents can call 2-1-1 for a list of testing sites throughout the state.

The Bayonne Health Department is immediately notified of positive results and contacts individuals to begin contact tracing. The BHD advises residents who have recently taken a COVID-19 test to answer their phones for contact tracers and staff.

For updates on this and other stories, check www.hudsonreporter.com and follow us on Twitter @hudson_reporter. Daniel Israel can be reached at disrael@hudsonreporter.com.