New Jersey opens 2 of 6 megasites planned to vaccinate thousands

New Jersey has opened two of six so-called COVID-19 vaccination megasites – one in Rockaway Township and the other at Rowan College.
Gov. Phil Murphy and state officials toured the site inside a former Sears store at the Rockaway Square Mall on Friday. After getting the tour, the governor watched and applauded as the first patients received the vaccine. About 100 first responders received the inoculation.
“We look forward to the days ahead that bring normalcy. Being able to travel again, going to a football game, visit our family and seeing friends,” said Morris Township firefighter and EMT Jay Alderton. “This vaccine is the first step in us moving in the right direction.”
The Rockaway Township site is outfitted with 20 vaccine stations. About 1,000 people per week will get the vaccine to start. Eventually, the state hopes to give them to as many as 2,400 patients a day, as more shots become available.
“These megasites will be vital to helping the state meet our goal of vaccinating 70% of the adult population in six months,” said Health Commissioner Judith Persichilli.
Murphy and his crew also toured a vaccination site at an old Kmart in West Orange. About 300 people a day will be vaccinated at that site. Essex County Executive Joe DiVincenzo says that more could be vaccinated if they had access to more doses.
“The state is only getting a certain amount and trying to distribute through the state fairly, so we’re waiting,” he said.
The four other megasites will open in Atlantic City, East Rutherford, Edison and Moorestown, but it was unclear when they would open. About 200 smaller sites are already providing vaccinations across the state.