NJ to open FEMA-run mass vaccination site in Newark


NEWARK, N.J. — New Jersey is set to open a new federally-run COVID-19 mass-vaccination site in Newark, one of the cities hit hardest by the pandemic, Gov. Murphy’s office announced Friday.

The FEMA-run vaccine center will be located at the New Jersey Institute of Technology’s Naimoli Family Athletic and Recreational Facility and, once open, will be administer the vaccine seven days a week, a press release said.

The new site will have the capacity to vaccinate 6,000 people daily, the release said.

“Ensuring vaccine equity by reaching deep into communities with higher risks of virus exposure and infection is among our highest priorities,” Murphy said in a statement. “By bringing a Federal Pilot Community Vaccination Center to New Jersey, we are one step closer to reaching our goal of vaccinating 4.7 million New Jersey adults in an efficient, effective, and equitable manner.”

Even better, the vaccine doses given at this site will be provided directly from the federal government, and will not come from New Jersey’s regular vaccine allocations.

“We are pleased to again be partnering with FEMA in expanding access to COVID-19 vaccines to residents of underserved communities in New Jersey,” New Jersey Department of Health Commissioner Judith Persichilli said in a statement.

Newark, a community hit especially hard by the deadly virus, was put on a weeks-long lockdown of sorts back in November. Mayor Ras Baraka imposed strict restrictions in an effort to curb the spread.

“As we’ve seen the detriment that COVID-19 has caused on our community and beyond, it’s extremely important for any of our residents to have access to the vaccine if they are ready to get one,” Baraka said Friday. “On behalf of the residents of the City of Newark, I am grateful for the Biden-Harris Administration, FEMA, and Governor Murphy’s leadership in bringing more vaccines to us where we need them the most. This is our best scientific means for protection against COVID.”

Friday marked 100 days since New Jersey’s first non-trial COVID vaccine shot was given to a local nurse on Dec. 15 at Newark’s University Hospital.

Murphy was also expected to announce Friday the expansion of vaccine eligibility in the Garden State to include those 55 and older, members of the press and more, starting April 5.

No word yet on when this new Newark mass-vaccination site will begin taking appointments or open its doors.

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