East Brunswick mayor asks residents to be patient with vaccine distribution

coronavirus syringe

EAST BRUNSWICK–With New Jersey experiencing a COVID-19 vaccine shortage, Mayor Brad Cohen updated residents about the latest news regarding vaccination accessibility.

On Jan. 20 during an EBTV segment, Cohen announced that the township’s Community Arts Center, and five other sites, were chosen by Middlesex County as COVID-19 vaccination sites.

Then, during his biweekly mayor’s report during the council meeting on Jan. 25, Cohen discussed the statewide vaccine shortage, the county’s vaccination sites and what residents should do in the meantime.

“I know everybody is anxious about vaccines. The waiting line is incredibly long. Unfortunately, it’s not a secret there’s simply not enough vaccines being delivered to the state, that the state then delivers to counties and through their system of vaccination centers,” Cohen said. “There simply isn’t enough regular vaccines coming for them to be able to schedule hours and appointments for people on a regular basis.”

Cohen said people may find that spots will open, they will be filled, someone can’t get another spot, and then he/she is locked out of the system.

The state is running a website, Cohen said, where residents can register and once their group is eligible to undergo vaccination, they will be given an email authorizing them to log on to any one of the sites that are on the state’s vaccination center list in their county. Residents will then use that site to schedule his/her appointment.

“People are being locked out right and left because there’s simply not enough slots for people to be scheduled. … Once the Johnson & Johnson vaccine comes out, which we’re expecting in the next couple of weeks, and we start getting a handle on the federal level for distribution vaccines to the states, I believe in the next couple of weeks we’re going to start to see that backlog become a little bit more regular,” Cohen said.

Cohen said the county-designated COVID-19 vaccination sites are open to anybody within the State of New Jersey.

“Most mayors have zero control over the vaccination programs at all, they are state- and county-run, but I do think people should be a little patient. We will get there. … [As an example] for most people who’ve asked … [about] the new iPhone, everybody clamors and calls to get on top of one another so they get the new iPhone, and then a couple of months, everybody can get it no problem. I think we just need to be a little bit more patient to get to that point.”

For more information, visit www.covid19.nj.gov/index.html or www.covidvaccine.nj.gov.

Contact Vashti Harris at vharris@newspapermediagroup.com.