EDISON- COVID-19 vaccination efforts were at the forefront of the agenda during the Feb. 23 press conference held at the Edison Board of Education office. Leaders in attendance included Edison Councilman Joe Coyle, Office of Emergency Management Coordinator Andrew Toth, Edison Superintendent Dr. Bernard Bragen, and Edison Board of Education members—Biren Patel, Mohin Patel, Jerry Shi, and Virginia White. 

Coyle advocated for teachers, insisting they should be granted first priority in receiving the vaccine, along with first responders and senior citizens. He stressed the urgency of the situation, especially since teachers will be returning to classrooms on March 1. Coyle also expressed concern about vaccine distribution: “I hear bragging from other counties about the [higher] number of doses they’re getting compared to Edison. So somewhere, the ball is being dropped, or we’re just not getting our fair share of the vaccine.” 

Dr. Bragen stated that the lack of vaccines available to educators would not impede them from returning to classrooms come March 1. “Our schools are safe. We have practices and protocols in place to ensure social distancing, mask-wearing, thermal scans, and cleaning procedure processes that are aligned with the CDC and the New Jersey Department of Health guidelines.” 

Biren Patel, Mohin Patel, and Virginia White reaffirmed their commitment to working with local and state governments to implement widespread vaccination efforts among teachers and residents. “The infrastructure is already there. We just need the vaccines to get them vaccinated. We implore our governor as well as our Middlesex County commissioner to make sure they get the produce in place so we can administer the vaccine as soon as possible.” Shi elaborated on the plan to provide vaccines to teachers and staff. “We have the freezers for the vaccines and the nurses to administer them. The only thing we’re missing is the vaccines.”