Getting vaccinated against COVID-19 at the Korpi Ice Rink

A first-person vaccination experience

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Staff Writer Daniel Israel gets his COVID-19 booster shot at the Korpi Ice Rink in Bayonne on Nov. 8. Photo by Patricia Durand.
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The area where nurses administer vaccines. Photo by Daniel Israel.
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The waiting area where the newly vaccinated wait for fifteen minutes during monitoring. Photo by Daniel Israel.
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Staff Writer Daniel Israel gets his COVID-19 booster shot at the Korpi Ice Rink in Bayonne on Nov. 8. Photo by Patricia Durand.
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The area where nurses administer vaccines. Photo by Daniel Israel.
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The waiting area where the newly vaccinated wait for fifteen minutes during monitoring. Photo by Daniel Israel.

As more residents become eligible to receive the COVID-19 vaccine by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), including third doses and booster shots, Bayonne has expanded its vaccination schedule. Bayonne Community News Staff Writer Daniel Israel went to the Korpi Ice Rink behind Bayonne High School at 669 Avenue A to document the experience and give readers an idea of what it is like to get vaccinated at the site run by Bespoke Health.

I arrived at Bayonne High School around noon on Nov. 8. Parking was suprisingly available on Avenue A. The ice rink is behind the high school, which is easily identifiable and accessible. I chose to walk in, without an appointment.

At the doors, there is a dedicated entrance and exit line to enter the center. But there was no line. Once inside, I immediately walked up to one of two desks manned by vaccination center employees. An employee took my information, including my vaccination card and my driver’s license, before I had to sign a waiver.

Then I walked into the cheerleading room in the ice rink that has been adapted into the main vaccination hub of the city since it opened in April. There was no wait, so instead of taking a seat, I was immediately directed to a vaccination station. After asking some preliminary questions about whether or not I was immunocompromised, the employee advised I was eligible for the booster shot.

The area where nurses administer vaccines. Photo by Daniel Israel.

Moderna boosters on Mondays

Since it was Monday, the booster I received was Moderna, which was the same as my first two full doses. For the booster shot, the CDC has authorized mixing and matching, meaning I could have gotten a Pfizer booster if I had wanted.

The booster shot is a half dose for Moderna. Full third doses of Moderna are only available to severely immunocompromised individuals. The Pfizer booster is a full dose.

After getting the third jab, I sat in the waiting area for fifteen minutes to ensure there weren’t any negative side effects. A vaccination employee monitors each person with a timer. When the alarm went off, I was done and on my way.

On that day, the only side effect I experienced was soreness at the site of vaccination, meaning my left arm. However, that subsided by the next day. Additionally, I was fatigued for a day or two afterward my booster shot. Otherwise, I had no other side effects and no adverse reactions.

Overall, the vaccination center is speedy and efficient. Whether you are going to get a booster shot or third dose to further protect yourself from the virus, or you are a child age 5 through 11 who has just become eligible for first and second doses of the Pfizer vaccine, the site is great place for all those who live, work, or study in Bayonne to get the COVID-19 vaccine.

The waiting area where the newly vaccinated wait for fifteen minutes during monitoring. Photo by Daniel Israel.

Get vaccinated

The Moderna vaccines, including first, second, third, and booster doses are available at the Korpi Ice Rink on Mondays from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. and Wednesdays from 11 a.m. to 7 p.m. Pfizer vaccines, including first, second, third, and booster doses are available at the ice rink on Tuesdays from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. and Thursdays from 11 a.m. to 7 p.m.

Those eligible for first and second doses of the COVID-19 vaccines include those age 18 and over for the Moderna vaccine and those age 5 and over for the Pfizer vaccine. Third doses of those vaccines are available for those who are severely immunocompromised and received their second dose at least four weeks ago.

Booster shots, which for Moderna is a half dose and for Pfizer is a full dose, are available to those who are 65 and older, those who are 18 and older who live in long-term care settings, or have underlying medical conditions, or live or work in high-risks settings, and have received the Moderna or Pfizer vaccine at least six months ago.

Walk-ins are accepted. Or make an appointment by calling 201-537-4818.

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.