Sires joins North Hudson officials in urging residents to get COVID-19 vaccination

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U.S. Rep. Albio Sires (D-8) joined North Hudson officials in urging residents to get their COVID-19 vaccination, noting that their vaccination rates are lagging behind right now.

By Daniel Ulloa/Hudson County View

“We’re here to urge everyone to get vaccinated. You might not feel like if you’re not vaccinated now, it doesn’t matter: it does matter. Because you can still get it, you can still get sick, and you can still die from this COVID-19,” Sires said at a press conference hosted at Union City High School this afternoon.

“ … Only about 50 percent of the people in these communities have been vaccinated. That’s not enough for us, or anyone … so we need to bring that up to 70 and 80 percent.”

Sires later said that the number of those vaccinated in North Hudson’s largely Latino communities is low because of a language barrier for native Spanish speakers, also noting that not everyone is web savvy and owns a vehicle to travel to a mega site.

He was joined by state Senator (D-33)/Union City Mayor Brian Stack, Weehawken Mayor Richard Turner, West New York Mayor Gabriel Rodriguez, North Bergen Commissioner Julio Marenco, and Guttenberg Housing Authority Executive Director Ruddys Andrade.

“I can’t emphasize enough to get vaccinated,” Stack said, explaining that in Union City, he directed an effort to have flyers put on every door regarding coronavirus testing and vaccinations – along with face masks being sent to every household.

“If you want normalcy, if you want to return to some sense of normalcy, we need to get vaccinated. We’re trying very hard. If anyone needs a ride to get vaccinated if anyone needs special accommodations because they’re home-bound, we’ll go to their home and vaccinate them. We’ll do everything possible.”

He also said about 33,000 have been vaccinated in Union City, only about 44 percent of their population of roughly 68,500 people.

“This pandemic has been something that we have not experienced in the past in over 100 years. So to get through this new normal, vaccination is absolutely imperative,” West New York Mayor Gabriel Rodriguez added.

He noted in Spanish it was important the community know the vaccination is safe and effective and that the virus was far more dangerous than any vaccine.

“We all want to get back to our 2019 way of life: This the fastest route there,” said Marenco.

To that end, Andrade said “we really need to drive this home,” noting that they now have two vaccination thanks to a partnership with North Bergen.

Their rec center site, located at 6300 Meadowview Ave., is being expanded thanks to help from the Hackensack University Medical Center and the National Guard.

“I was asymptomatic. People are asymptomatic. You don’t have to be sick. You don’t want to spread it to your family, you don’t want to spread it to your loved ones. You don’t want to spread it in the schools. You don’t want it in any place. There’s no excuse anymore,” Turner stated.

“We want residents to know that we are confident in the vaccine and the vaccination process and want to encourage residents to get vaccinated.”

Several speakers also noted that immigration status would never prevent anyone from receiving a vaccination.

Info on Union City and Weehawken vaccination sites can be found here, Guttenberg and North Bergen here, and West New York here.

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