Hudson County residents 75 or older get prioritization in vaccination efforts

Residents of age 75 and older are being prioritized this week at the Hudson County Vaccine Distribution Center.
So far, more than 300 have registered with about 30 being 90 years old.
Now that the one-shot Johnson & Johnson vaccine is approved by the Food and Drug Administration, it's expected to make it even easier to get to it seniors. But some seniors are concerned about its 66% efficacy rate.
"You know, it's not really an apples-to-apples comparison, and that's what we're trying to get out to people that, get whatever shot is being offered because they're all effective and they're all going to keep you out of the hospital," explains David Drumeler, Hudson Deputy County Administrator.
Dr. Jeffrey Carson, a professor at Rutgers RWJ Medical School, was involved in the Johnson & Johnson vaccine trials and vouches for its efficacy, especially when it comes to hospitalization, which seniors with the virus have been prone to.
"Where it really makes a difference is the severe versions. Eighty-five percent it gets the severe versions, there were no hospitalizations after 28 days of patients enrolled that received the vaccine, and there were no deaths and that's remarkable. And that means it's an extremely effective vaccine," Carson says.
The county has also developed its own system for getting seniors registered by using as little complicated technology as possible. The method is working, as its allotment is used up each week.
"We have smaller pods in our municipalities that are strategically located with the help of all of our municipal health officers to reach out to our local population that might not have a car, that might not have a computer," Drumeler says.
The new model does not affect anyone under 75 with a second vaccine appointment.
If there are some left over appointments not taken by people over 75, they will be open for other eligible residents.