On Tuesday, March 23, Essex County Executive Joseph N. DiVincenzo, Jr. called upon members of Essex County’s Federal delegation to urge President Biden to allocate more COVID-19 vaccine doses to Essex County. The letter was sent to U.S. Senators Cory Booker and Robert Menendez; U.S. Representatives Donald M. Payne, Jr., Mikie Sherrill, Albio Sires and Tom Malinowski; along with Governor Phil Murphy.
“Today I attended a press conference promoting a local initiative to make vaccines available in black and brown communities and other hard to reach communities. We need as many organizations as possible working with government to get our residents vaccinated. But what we really need the most is more vaccines,” DiVincenzo said.
DiVincenzo writes: “We have proven our vaccination initiatives to be efficient and effective, yet our weekly allotment has remained at 12,000 doses. If we received more doses, we could put shots in even more arms. I believe our sites are grossly underutilized. We have the capacity to be vaccinating between 25,000 and 30,000 people per week – if only we had more doses… if New Jersey received a larger allocation from the federal government, then more could be earmarked for Essex County.”
Essex County has created several initiatives to efficiently administer vaccines. They include:
- Opening five vaccination centers that are administering 12,000 vaccines per week, but have a capacity to administer 25,000 to 30,000 per week.
- Busing 700 senior citizens from Newark, Orange, East Orange, Irvington, Bloomfield and Belleville to our vaccination centers each week.
- Hosting mobile vaccination sites in churches, senior buildings and community centers in Newark, Orange, East Orange and Irvington.
- Hosting pop up vaccination sites in homeless shelters, boarding homes and social service agencies to provide vaccinations to homeless residents, special needs residents and domestic violence victims.
- Scheduling special vaccination appointment times for teachers and support staff from public, private, parochial and charter schools to be vaccinated.
- Partnering with our mayors and local health officials to identify and vaccinate homebound residents.