North Bergen COVID-19 vaccine site administering 400 doses per day
Community COVID-19 vaccination sites are popping up in smaller towns across New Jersey.
One such site is in North Bergen, a city with a population of about 60,000 people. City officials say that they are making significant in-roads with the city’s Latino population. The vaccine site is located inside the North Bergen recreation center.
“We are administering approximately 400 doses per week. On a weekly basis, that supply may increase or decrease,” says North Bergen Health Director Janet Castro.
The health department started vaccinating residents with the Moderna vaccine on Dec. 24 and has given doses to 2,160 people. And in a city that is 70% Latino, Castro says that the so-called “vaccine hesitancy” is fading.
“We are certainly seeing more compliance at this point. I think a part of our population was waiting for their friends and neighbors to receive the first dose to see if they had a reaction,” Castro says.
Castro says that the health department could administer 800 injections per week. They have the infrastructure with the recreation center. But all they need now is more supply of the vaccine.
“You know, with more shots we can do it better. But we are doing what we can with the limited number we are receiving,” says North Bergen Mayor Nicholas Sacco.
While they wait for more vaccine doses, those fortunate to get an appointment walked out with a sense of relief.
“I think it’s important as a health care worker that we pave the way for the community,” says Ana Gonzalez.
“I thought it was better than the flu shot. This was even easier,” says Valerie DiStefano.
The only way to get an appointment for a vaccine is by calling the North Bergen Health Department. The waiting list is about 500 people long.