Day 2 of vaccinations underway in Toms River after 250 vaccines administered Tuesday
Day two of vaccinations is underway at the RWJ Barnabas Health Arena in Toms River under the direction of the Ocean County Health Department.
The site is offering the vaccine for people who meet the criteria for 1a – front-line health workers and EMTs, but it's performed by the public health department and not private health organizations and clinics.
Tuesday, 250 vaccines were administered by health department staff members. The entire process is by appointment and takes about a half hour, including recovery time.
"It's definitely helpful because the hospital that I work for, they haven't received the vaccine yet, so they sent us this link to the clinic so that we can start getting vaccines as soon as possible,” says Temple University senior and therapy technician Riana Ramos.
Ramos believes the moment to be a turning point in the fight against COVID-19 and wants others to follow her example.
“Please do it,” says Ramos. “I'm in college right now. I'm a bio major, all I've been learning about is a vaccine. All my curriculum has changed to COVID, so I've definitely learned a lot about the vaccine this semester and I have a lot of hope in them.”
"Operations like this have been in the works for 20-plus years in terms of planning for mass vaccination clinics. We did something similar during H1N1, vaccinating over 30,000 residents," says Ocean County Public Health Coordinator Dan Regenye.
The Ocean County Public Department has around 1,400 vaccines available, and are expecting more doses to arrive. As more vaccine becomes available, they can see this center doing upward of 2,000 vaccinations a day. One person getting the Moderna vaccine is Shannon Kelly, a Neptune Township volunteer EMT.
"It's amazing to have all these options and getting an appointment here was great and I was very thankful,” says Kelly.
“The plan is to be able to operate this site as our super site. We have the plan to then expand to six regional sites, then I see large-based clinics and community-based clinics as we get to nine,12 months out. The community-based clinics would mirror our seasonal flu program where we operate about 75 to 100 vaccination sites in the course of a month, month and a half,” Regenye explains.
If you meet the criteria and want to sign up, click here.