The Jersey City Council is expected to approve a measure that would allocate $2 million towards setting up six different COVID-19 vaccine sites at this evening’s meeting.
By John Heinis/Hudson County View
“We need to have a contingency plan in place to avoid any delays in making these critical vaccines available in the case that the state or federal government doesn’t provide resources,” Mayor Steven Fulop said in a statement.
“We feel that it is important to take the same approach as we did with testing, that we will use city dollars to get a program running and then fight to get the reimbursement later. As we saw when we took the initiative and became the first to offer city-run testing, we are finding ourselves in a similar situation with the vaccine rollout.”
An emergency resolution will go before the City Council during tonight’s regularly scheduled meeting to award a contract to Fixtech Medical USA, Inc. to build out the POD sites.
“We’ve been anticipating the arrival of a vaccine for several months, and now that it is almost here, we want to be sure our operations can start immediately, while remaining efficient and organized so that we can maximize distribution of immunizations and boosters accordingly,” added Health and Human Services Director Stacey Flanagan.
“Originally, testing was the most effective deterrent we had to work with, and we were aggressive in establishing and expanding testing citywide. We will follow similarly with the vaccines.”
At a press conference about the city’s preparations for the impending snow storm, Flanagan said that four of the six locations had been finalized: the Mary McLeod Bethune Life Center, the Joseph Connors Senior Center, Ferris High School, and the Franklin L. Williams School (Middle School No. 7).
She added that the state has still not determined what allocated of doses Jersey City will receive, therefore the opening date(s) of the vaccination sites are still to be determined.
Jersey City is the first in the state to announce plans to set up vaccination locations, following an announcement last night that the Hudson County government would be utilizing the office of emergency management building in Kearny.
The Jersey City Council convenes via Microsoft Teams this evening via Microsoft Teams and the meeting can be accessed here.
Editor’s note: This story was updated with new information.