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What is the State doing to expand vaccine capacity and access?

Last Updated: 06/21/2021

Appointments for COVID-19 vaccines are available across New Jersey to anyone 12 years and older who lives, works, or studies in the state.

Use the NJ Vaccine Appointment Finder to find vaccination locations near you with available appointments. Or register with the NJ Vaccine Scheduling System to be notified when an appointment is available to you at vaccine locations that use the State's Vaccine Scheduling System.

In addition, the State's toll-free vaccination hotline (1-855-568-0545) is available to register individuals in the NJ Vaccine Scheduling System, answer questions about the vaccine, provide contact information for sites, and check registration status.

Expanding Vaccine Capacity and Access

On June 18, 2021, the State reached its ambitious goal of fully vaccinating 4.7 million individuals who live, work, or study in New Jersey nearly two weeks before its original target date of June 30th.

While the State has exceeded its initial goal, it will continue to work with its partners to vaccinate all eligible individuals.

There is a network of over 1,500 sites across New Jersey tasked with carrying out the State's COVID-19 vaccination plan fairly and equitably.

In January 2021, six megasites opened as vaccination hubs in:

  • Atlantic County: Atlantic City Convention Center (Closed on June 19th)
  • Bergen County: Racetrack at Meadowlands, East Rutherford
  • Burlington County: Moorestown Mall
  • Gloucester County: Rowan College of South Jersey, Sewell (Closed on June 18th)
  • Middlesex County: New Jersey Convention and Exposition Center, Edison
  • Morris County: Rockaway Townsquare

Note: Certain vaccine megasites are open for walk-in vaccinations during select times, but are preparing to close. Plan for second doses accordingly. You may schedule your second dose through the NJ Vaccine Appointment Finder, or visit another walk-in vaccination site. Learn more.

Between all of the State's points of vaccine distribution, 98.7 percent of all New Jersey residents live within five miles of where they can get vaccinated.

The State's goal is to ensure even greater access in our urban areas, and to have vaccination centers within a 15-minute walk of all residents.

Healthcare Facilities and Long-Term Care Facilities

Vaccinations began on December 15, 2020 in New Jersey hospitals for paid and unpaid persons serving in their health facilities.

New Jersey is partnering with Rite Aid to provide vaccinations to home care and hospice staff. Information about scheduling appointments is being provided through home health agencies and their industry associations.

As of April 28, 2021, CVS and Walgreens completed their last rounds of vaccination clinics as part of the Federal Pharmacy Partnership for Long-Term Care (LTC) Program.

Through this partnership, New Jersey administered over 145,000 doses to residents and over 127,000 doses to staff at nearly 1,200 long-term care facilities - including nursing homes, the State's three veterans memorial homes, federal senior housing, all five Developmental centers, and some I/DD group homes.

Vaccination rates are broken down by county and facility on the "Long-Term Care" tab on the NJ Department of Health's Data Dashboard.

Although CVS and Walgreens completed their LTC vaccination clinics, the State remains committed to ensuring continued access for LTC residents and staff through other pharmacy partners. New Jersey also has a network of community vaccination sites for vulnerable residents who live in congregate settings not eligible for this federal partnership.

At-Risk Groups

The State is actively conducting phone outreach to New Jersey residents ages 65 and over and scheduling vaccine appointments to ensure greater direct access. The State is also setting aside a minimum of 10,000 doses each week for seniors ages 65 and older with Walmart as well as increasing vaccine allocations to megasites for these seniors.

Additionally, CVS, Walgreens, and Rite Aid are each reserving appointments for and prioritizing educators and child care workers.

Vulnerable Communities

The NJ Department of Health has identified 40 municipalities that have been disproportionately impacted by COVID-19 and are some of the most diverse and socio-economically challenged communities in the state. These municipalities in particular can benefit from mobile or community vaccination efforts based on the percent of racial and ethnic minorities, the percent of those living in poverty, COVID-19 death rates, and vaccination rates.

On February 19th, New Jersey launched a community-based vaccination partnership to provide equitable access of the COVID-19 vaccine to residents in 10 of these municipalities (Somerset, Trenton, Elizabeth, Vineland, Paterson, Camden, Jersey City, Orange, Newark, and Pleasantville).

In addition, from March 31, 2021 to June 20, a FEMA Community Vaccination Center in Newark at the New Jersey Institute of Technology served vulnerable communities. The Community Vaccination Center had the capacity to vaccinate 6,000 individuals per day, seven days per week. Vaccines were provided directly from the federal government beyond the state's regular allocations.

At the start of May 2021, the COVID Community Corps was deployed to increase public confidence in and uptake of the COVID-19 vaccines in vulnerable communities across New Jersey. The NJ Department of Health began recruiting members in March, and as of May 3, more than 900 members have been trained on COVID vaccine 101, vaccine eligibility and pathways to register for a vaccine.

The COVID Community Corps is visiting vulnerable communities to help combat misinformation and vaccine hesitancy and help schedule vaccine appointments. They are also assisting those with limited English proficiency and individuals with limited technology skills with the vaccination process. As of June 21, 2021, the COVID-19 Community Corps has knocked on more than 134,000 doors and made nearly 60,000 phone calls and texts.

In addition, mobile command centers have begun providing mobile vaccine events to the remaining 30 identified municipalities, and in late June, the State began sending "vaccine ambassadors" to high risk counties to work with elected officials, community leaders, school districts, and faith leaders to increase vaccination rates.

As part of Operation Jersey Summer, the State's effort aimed at vaccinating all eligible individuals who live, work, or study in New Jersey against COVID-19, New Jersey is partnering with faith leaders for Grateful for the Shot. The program brings vaccinations to congregations in targeted communities. Each event has a "block party" feel in a trusted and community atmosphere with a mix of food, music, and prizes in order to break down barriers to accessing the vaccine for individuals and families.

Homebound Individuals

County Areas on Aging have been coordinating with county health departments to identify homebound New Jerseyans in need of vaccination.

Through this collaboration, as of May 5, 2021, roughly 7,000 homebound New Jerseyans have received in-home vaccinations. This number does not count those vaccinated at pop-up clinics held throughout the state in senior housing buildings.

To supplement these efforts, the Department of Health is allocating doses directly to home health agencies, like the Visiting Nurse Associations, to vaccinate the homebound. Many hospitals have also been working with their affiliated homecare agencies to vaccinate people in their homes.

Individuals who have yet to be connected with their local health department or a home health agency, and who need an in-home vaccination, can visit covid19.nj.gov/homeboundvax or call 855-568-0545.

Colleges and Universities

In partnership with the Office of the Secretary of Higher Education, the Department of Health is working with New Jersey's colleges and universities to inform and activate their students. As schools determine vaccine plans, the Department of Health is working with them to determine if they would like to host a vaccination site on campus or identifying times and opportunities at the mega-sites or other community sites for their campuses to be vaccinated.

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