DiVincenzo Plans Ahead for Vaccine Distribution

Five Sites Ready when Vaccine Becomes Available

According to an announcement by Essex County Executive Joseph N. DiVincenzo, Jr., preparations have begun for the dispensing of the COVID-19 vaccination when it becomes available. Residents from Essex County municipalities will report to a specifically assigned vaccination site. Because of the size of its population, Newark residents will choose from any of the five sites to make their appointments. After the vaccines are delivered, residents can make appointments at www.EssexCOVID.org or by calling 973-877-8456. Because the vaccine protocol requires two doses approximately three weeks apart, reservations will be made for two separate dates. It is critical that residents attend both appointments.

“Working in partnership with our 22 municipal mayors, health officers, public safety officials, and emergency management personnel, we developed a comprehensive plan to administer vaccines to Essex County residents,” DiVincenzo said. “In addition to wearing a mask, washing our hands, social distancing, and getting tested, we encourage residents to help stop the spread of COVID-19 by getting vaccinated. Our plan provides vaccination centers convenient to all Essex County residents.”

The limited amount of vaccine available initially, required the State Department of Health to establish a phased-in approach to ensure fair and equitable distribution until larger quantities arrive. First to be inoculated will be healthcare workers who may have contact with infected patients or infectious materials and those in higher risk of severe COVID-19 illness, including 65-plus seniors with underlying health issues. Others will be phased-in as quickly as possible. The general population is last.

There are no out-of-pocket expenses for the inoculations. Medical insurance will cover the $16.94 for the first dose and $28.39 for the second. The Health Resources and Services Administration’s Provide Relief Fund will cover the costs for those without insurance.

Each vaccination site is set up in a similar fashion. Residents entering the site will first be pre-screened to verify they have an appointment. Those who do not have an appointment will not be allowed to receive the vaccine that day. Residents will then proceed to a registration table where they will be provided with their paperwork for their visit and receive a card to remind them about their second appointment. After being inoculated with the vaccine, residents will be required to wait 15 minutes while they are monitored for any side effects.

Social distancing guidelines will be followed at every site and areas will be sanitized on a regular basis throughout the day.