Warren County receives first shipment of COVID-19 vaccine

Warren County has received its first shipment of COVID-19 vaccines for its health care workers.

Last week this modern vaccine was delivered by the New Jersey Department of Health as part of its first wave of distribution, freeholder James R. Said Kern II, liaison for health and public safety. A statement from the Warren County Freeholders does not specifically mention how many vaccines were received but whether the state expected another shipment next month.

The county, Kern said, will have to follow state and federal guidance to help vaccinate those fighting the virus along the lines of the front. He said EMS personnel and school nurses are expected to receive the first round of vaccines.

The county’s health department plans to notify EMS staff and school nurses directly through their squads and schools on how to schedule an appointment. Warren County health officer Pete Summers said he expected private providers to join the effort.

However, it is unclear when the general public may have access to vaccines.

An advisory panel to the government supported a second COVID-19 vaccine in mid-December, paving the way for the modern shot to be added to the American vaccination campaign. The vaccine reportedly Pfizer Inc. And a similar one from Germany’s BioNTech, which has sent millions of health care workers and nursing home residents on the ramp as the largest vaccination campaign in American history.

Because initial supply is limited, federal and state plans call for an exhausting approach prioritizing health care workers who deal directly with COVID-19 patients. As more manufactured, vaccine outreach will extend to other medical personnel, people in important occupations, seniors, and people with high-risk health conditions. Eventually, when those important demands are met, it will open to the general public.

“In the next several months, COVID-19 vaccination will be the top priority of the Department of Health and we will provide all possible resources towards providing the vaccine to our community, as soon as possible.”

The Warren County Public Safety Department is working with area agencies to make sure there is an accurate list of personnel who want to receive the vaccine, Kern said.

“Rest assured, we will continue to fight for more doses for the county, our hospitals and private partners,” he said, noting the county will have information about how long these sources will be available.

Meanwhile, the COVID-19 trial is available through 187 Route 519, Belvidere and other providers at St. Luke’s Belvidere Health Center at St. Luke’s University Healthcare Network, a drive-through sites sponsored by Warren County.

A list of other testing options is available on the county government website.

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