North Bergen’s COVID-19 vaccination site is up and running at their recreation center, located at 6300 Meadowview Ave., and are urging those eligible to call 201-392-2084 to schedule an appointment.
According to North Bergen Health Officer Janet Castro, the operation has been moving for the past two weeks, an upgrade after the township began administering vaccinations at municipal buildings on Christmas Eve.
To date, North Bergen has been receiving about 400 doses per week, with approximately 1,800 first doses administered, along with 360 second doses, as of Sunday. Even with some initial trepidation about being vaccinated, Castro said appointments have always been steady.
“Fortunately, our office administration, the ones who are receiving the calls and making the appointments are bi-lingual clerks so we are fortunate enough to be able to communicate effectively with our population,” she said during a media scrum at the site this afternoon.
She also pointed out that they’ve opted to use a phone number instead of a web form to prioritize residents without internet access, which includes their senior and Latino populations.
“We have about a 65 percent Latino population, just about everything we do runs through those numbers and we’ve been very successful. Our Latino population has been open, they’ve been very willing to get the shots when they’re available,” state Senator (D-32)/North Bergen Mayor Nick Sacco added.
Sacco further stated that the first day the rec center was open, nine people no-showed their appointments, while only three didn’t make it for all of last week.
Under ideal circumstances, Castro said the health department has the infrastructure necessary to double capacity in the event that more vaccines are allotted to North Bergen.
“I think if we received double what we received now, that would work well – at least with this population … the phases were opened without having enough of a supply, which made it fairly challenging, which has made our waiting list fairly significant.”
She clarified that the township’s coronavirus vaccination waiting list currently has about 500 people on it.
Gov. Phil Murphy (D) announced that the vaccination program across the state would expand to Phase 1B on January 14th, which includes residents 65 and older, along with residents 16-64 with certain medical conditions.