NJ COVID vaccination mega site opens at Moorestown Mall in Burlington County – Burlington County Times

[ad_1]

Jarrad Daniel Saffren
 
| Burlington County Times

play
Show Caption

Hide Caption

Watch: COVID-19 vaccination mega-site opens at Moorestown Mall

Dr. Herbert Conaway, Director of Burlington County Health Department, speaks about the COVID-19 vaccination mega-site at the Moorestown Mall on Friday, Jan. 15, 2020.

Adam Monacelli, Cherry Hill Courier-Post

MOORESTOWN — The COVID vaccination mega site at the Moorestown Mall opened Friday morning.

Located in the anchor store space once occupied by Lord & Taylor, the mall is one of six vaccination mega sites in New Jersey. It can administer up to 40 shots at a time and 2,400 per day, according to Burlington County officials. It is also fully staffed and ready to go, added Virtua Health officials, who are providing much of the staffing.

The state mega site is just waiting on one thing: more vaccines. 

Herb Conaway, Burlington County health director, said the vaccine distribution from the federal government “certainly leaves much to be desired.” 

“This needs to be ramped up as quickly and as safely as we can,” added Dan O’Connell, a county commissioner. 

On Friday morning, the mall administered 400 shots. But county officials had to cut the process off around lunch time to preserve their limited supply before it’s replenished. 

More: COVID vaccination site opens at Camden County College in Blackwood

A scientific explanation: What does the COVID vaccine actually do inside your body?

The mall site will not be open for vaccinations on Saturday and Sunday, but it will be open Monday and officials are hoping to get another vaccine shipment, of about 3,000 doses, from the state on Tuesday. 

All vaccine appointments must be made online, at virtua.org/vaccine, and in advance.

“This is a collaborative effort designed to increase access to vaccinations in this region,” Conaway said.

The state Office of Emergency Management is distributing the vaccines to the mega site. Burlington County officials are organizing the location. And Virtua Health employees and U.S. National Guard troops are taking temperatures at the door and administering shots. 

At the moment, only certain priority groups are eligible for COVID vaccinations in New Jersey. Those include Phase 1A priority groups, like healthcare workers, some Phase 1B priority groups, like police officers, state residents age 65 and older and residents between the ages of 16 and 64 with chronic medical conditions. 

Once the state rollout reaches the general population, anyone will be able to visit the mega site for a vaccination shot. But even then, you must make an appointment first, said officials. The Moorestown Mall is one of three mega sites in South Jersey, along with Rowan College of South Jersey and the Atlantic City Convention Center. 

“I would ask all those in our communities to be as patient as possible,” said Reg Blaber, Virtua’s executive vice president. “We are doing our best to open appointments, but our ability to open appointments depends on us getting vaccines.” 

When the mega sites start getting enough doses to vaccinate 2,400 people per day, the mall location will remain open seven days a week for about 12 hours a day, officials said. 

“We’re playing our part to make sure we can get beyond this coronavirus pandemic,” Conaway said. 

A local news and sports reporter around Pennsylvania and New Jersey since 2015, Jarrad Daniel Saffren joined The Burlington County Times’ award-winning local news team in October 2019, adding business, education and town government features to the coverage. Contact him at jsaffren@gannett.com and follow him on Twitter @JarradSaff. Please help support local journalism with a subscription to The Burlington County Times.  

Let’s block ads! (Why?)

[ad_2]

Source link

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *