BRANCHBURG, NJ - The Somerset County Department of Health began dispensing the COVID-19 vaccination to hundreds of police, firefighters and EMTs from departments throughout the country this week, while those 65 and older, or people with pre-existing medical conditions are expected to line up beginning Monday.
The outdoor drive-thru clinic is at Raritan Valley Community College, the same site used for COVID-19 testing on Wednesdays.
The drive-thru for COVID-19 inoculations will be open Mondays, Thursdays and Fridays, weather permitting. Pre-registration and appointments are necessary to receive the inoculation.
Those receiving the COVID-19 vaccine had signed up and registered in advance, which speeds the process, according to Dr. Namitha Reddy, health officer and director of the Somerset County Department of Health. On average, those who tested Thursday spent between 4-7 minutes in line waiting for their shot before having to wait another 15 minutes in a holding area to be certain no one who had been inoculated had a bad reaction.
There are two parallel lanes for vehicles separated by orange road cones to speed the process, according to Reddy.
There were 471 doses administered on Thursday, with 498 first responders signed up to receive their shots on Friday; by noon, 230 had received their shots with a steady stream of cars and trucks arriving by the minute.
Registration for Monday's clinic opened at 9:30 a.m. Friday, and in one hour, all 400 slots had been filled.
Finderne Fire Chief Michael Jannone was one of the first responders to receive the vaccine.
“Somerset County’s COVID vaccination clinic for first responders is very well organized, very impressive,” Jannone said. “Today’s clinic makes me confident the county’s health department will do its part to vaccinate everyone in the county who wants to be vaccinated.”
The SCDOH is working in coordination with state, federal and local agencies, such as the New Jersey Department of Health (NJDOH) and Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) to plan for the fast and equitable distribution of COVID-19 vaccine to communities in Somerset County.
Register for the COVID-19 Vaccine
Everyone interested in receiving the COVID-19 vaccine is asked to pre-register in the state’s vaccination registration portal at: https://covidvaccine.nj.gov/
Anyone who does not have internet access, or needs assistance on the NJ Vaccination site can call 2-1-1.
Registered individuals will receive a follow-up email when they can make an appointment.
It is important to note: As demand and supply of vaccine changes, this information is subject to change. Check often for the most up-to-date information.
If you have questions email: email@example.com
For more information or to register for vaccination, visit COVID-19.nj.gov.