The Monmouth County Board of County Commissioners held a joint press conference with representatives of Monmouth Medical Center, an RWJBarnabas Health facility, and Brookdale Community College on Jan. 22 to announce their partnership to provide a vaccination site at Brookdale Community College’s Robert J. Collins Arena in Lincroft.
“I am very excited to announce the county’s partnership with Brookdale and Monmouth Medical Center to provide this vaccination site for our residents,” said Commissioner Director Thomas A. Arnone.
“We know the rollout of the (COVID-19) vaccine has been a frustrating process for everyone, but especially for our vulnerable residents who are seeking the vaccine.
“Unfortunately, we had been receiving an extremely limited amount of vaccinations and have not been able to meet the demand due to the insufficient supply received from the state. We have been advocating tirelessly for more vaccines for Monmouth County since the beginning and we will continue to seek more vaccines,” Arnone said.
Monmouth County was receiving 500 vaccines per week, but county officials were informed that beginning the week of Jan. 25, the county will receive 2,500 vaccines per week, according to a press release.
Of the 2,500 vaccines, 2,000 vaccines will be administered at the Brookdale site over five days per week. The other 500 vaccines will be administered at the Monmouth County Agriculture Building in Freehold Township. All vaccines will be administered by appointment only. No walk-ins will be accepted, according to the press release.
“Currently, in New Jersey, vaccines are available to healthcare personnel, long-term care residents and staff, first responders, individuals age 65 and older as well as individuals between the ages of 16 and 64 with medical conditions, as defined by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, which increase the risk of severe illness from the virus,” said Commissioner Deputy Director Susan M. Kiley.
These conditions include: cancer; chronic kidney disease; COPD (chronic obstructive pulmonary disease); Down syndrome; heart conditions (heart failure, coronary artery disease or cardiomyopathies); obesity; severe obesity; sickle cell disease; smoking; and Type 2 diabetes mellitus.
Individuals who are pregnant and those in an immunocompromised state (weakened immune system) from solid organ transplant are also eligible, but should follow CDC guidance and first discuss vaccination with their medical provider before receiving the vaccine, according to the press release.
The Brookdale site will be open five days per week, including Saturday, and offer later hours on Monday. The hours, which are subject to change, will be as follows: Monday from 1-6 p.m.; Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursday from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m.; and Saturday from 8 a.m. to noon.
The Freehold Township site will continue to operate five days per week, Monday through Friday, and the times will vary based on vaccine availability.
“These hours are subject to change and likely will as the number of vaccines we receive and guidelines continue to change,” said Arnone. “Initially, we will be scheduling individuals from the county’s waiting list, which currently has more than 11,000 names on it, until our new registration system is ready to go live.”
Residents who are eligible to receive the COVID-19 vaccine can go to the county’s website at www.visitmonmouth.com and use the Monmouth County COVID-19 Vaccine Wait List to be placed on the wait list for an appointment for a vaccine.
Those interested in volunteering can call the Monmouth County Health Department Phone Bank at 732-845-2070 or email MonmouthCOVID19@visitmonmouth.com
The next phase to be vaccinated will be the remainder of the essential workers and the general population, according to the press release. Monmouth County officials do not know when the New Jersey Department of Health will allow for the next phase to begin receiving vaccines.
For more information regarding the state’s phased approach, visit covid19.nj.gov