‘The virus is in retreat.’ NJ shutting down 6 mass vaccination sites; shifts focus to community sites

New Jersey will be shutting down its six mass COVID-19 vaccination sites as the state moves from a mega-site model to relying on about 1,800 community inoculation sites.

News 12 Staff

Jun 2, 2021, 8:35 PM

Updated 1,051 days ago

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New Jersey will be shutting down its six mass COVID-19 vaccination sites as the state moves from a megasite model to relying on about 1,800 community inoculation sites.
Gov. Phil Murphy announced the change on Wednesday, alongside White House coronavirus coordinator Jeff Zients.
“The time has now come for us to transition away from the megasite model,” Murphy said.
New Jersey opened the six large sites early on in the vaccination effort and has inoculated more than 950,000 people at those locations. But the governor said it’s time to shift away from that model given that the state has nearly 2,000 other places where people can get shots.
“The virus is in retreat...For all the progress that we’ve made, we’re not done yet,” Zients said. “Many communities have lower levels of vaccination, putting them at higher risk now and going forward.”
The Meadowlands megasite will offer its last first dose of the COVID-19 vaccine on Friday, and megasites in Atlantic and Gloucester Counties are no longer getting new supplies of first doses. All those sites will continue to administer second doses through the middle of June.
The change in focus comes as a showdown looms Thursday in the Legislature over a bill that would end the state's public health emergency, as well as most of the governor's COVID-19 emergency orders. If passed, only 14 orders would remain in place until January 2022.
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"We don't want to extend these health emergencies any more than anyone else does,” Murphy said.
A previous attempt to pass the bill was scuttled in May at the last minute over both Republican and Democratic opposition. It was revised by Democratic legislative leaders.
“We’ve had a very good level of cooperation bringing this to a good, rightful resolution,” the governor said.
The new version of the public emergency bill would also allow the governor to ask the Legislature for a 90-day extension on his emergency powers. Senate President Steve Sweeney's office said that extension is only intended to be used once.
The Associated Press wire services contributed to this report.


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