With J&J vaccine shelved, Bayonne forges ahead with Moderna

Mayor James Davis said the city also has the equipment needed to store Pfizer vaccines

The vaccine administered in Bayonne has primarily been Moderna.
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The vaccine administered in Bayonne has primarily been Moderna.

After the state of New Jersey ordered the temporary pause in the use of all Johnson & Johnson COVID-19 vaccines in the state, Bayonne Mayor James Davis announced, “We will not use J&J until we have state approval to do so.”

Hudson County has also paused administering the J&J vaccine out of an abundance of caution following guidance from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), Food and Drug Administration (FDA) and the state.

Currently, the CDC and FDA are reviewing data involving six reported U.S. cases of a rare and severe type of blood clot in individuals after receiving the J&J vaccine.

However, Bayonne residents have no need to worry.

According to Davis, the Moderna vaccine has been the vaccine primarily distributed at the three sites run by the city, including at Bayonne Medical Center, the Bayonne Community Museum, and the new site at the Korpi Ice Rink. If the city is supplied with Pfizer, Davis said it has the necessary equipment to store that brand.

“I urge everyone to get the vaccine, which will go a long way in getting us back to normal much quicker,” Davis said.

Growing vaccine program

Davis said the vaccine rollout in Bayonne has been “very robust.” This includes the recent opening of a third vaccination site at the Korpi Ice Rink behind Bayonne High School. The establishment of the new site comes ahead of the vaccine eligibility expansion to the general public over the age of 16 on April 19.

“In order to handle the inoculations of the general public, we have made some important changes to our vaccine distribution plan,” Davis said. “My administration, with the cooperation of our city council, reached an agreement with Bespoke Health to manage our program and open a new vaccination point of distribution for our Bayonne residents.”

The city has created a call center with live operators to schedule appointments at the new site. Residents no longer need to go online to register. Appointments are available Monday through Friday, 9 a.m. to 5 p.m, at the ice rink. Call the new hotline at 201-537-4818 to schedule a appointment at the ice rink.

Davis said the new site is designed to handle a large number of people each day in an efficient and streamlined manner.

Schedulers will still make appointments at Bayonne Medical Center for residents who prefer to be inoculated there. Those who wish to register there can call 201-858-6088 or email bayvax@baynj.org and leave a voicemail with their name, date of birth, and contact number. A scheduler will call back to make an appointment when one is available.

It is not clear if the site at the Bayonne Community Museum will continue to operate. However, residents who received their first shot at the museum site are still scheduled to get their second dose at that site.

“Just to reiterate, we are no longer using the Johnson & Johnson vaccine until further notice from the state of New Jersey,” Davis said. “We are all working very hard behind the scenes for our community, and I want to thank you all for your cooperation and willingness to get vaccinated.”

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.