Hudson’s first COVID-19 vaccine center opening in Kearny

Kearny will soon be home to Hudson County’s first COVID-19 vaccine center.

The county will open the vaccination site at the USS Juneau Center, Office of Emergency Management, 110 Hackensack Ave., South Kearny, beginning next week, Hudson County Executive Tom DeGise said today.

The vaccination center will be operated by the Hudson Regional Health Commission and overseen by the newly established Hudson County Vaccine Task Force, which the county executive will utilize to coordinate vaccine response across several different county departments and autonomous agencies as well as the community at large.

At the same time, the county will continue offering robust COVID-19 testing through its partnership with Hudson Regional Hospital in Secaucus.

“Our nation has eagerly awaited the approval of a vaccine to combat the COVID-19 crisis and Hudson County has worked diligently for the past nine months to prepare for this moment,” Hudson County Executive Thomas A. DeGise said. “While we cannot let our guard down just yet, knowing our community will receive its first shipment of vaccines in the coming days assures all of us that we are one step closer to reaching the light at the end of this dark tunnel. As we enter into the cold, winter months, Hudson County will continue its robust testing efforts and will have an aggressive vaccination program in place for when the vaccine becomes more publicly available.”

Keeping in accordance with New Jersey guidelines that outline the vaccine distribution schedule, essential healthcare workers will be the first to be vaccinated at Hudson County’s site.

Those eligible include doctors and nurses within private practices, dentists, hygienists, community and public health workers, funeral directors, paid and unpaid emergency medical technicians and those working in labs with infectious material.

Medical personnel who work at local hospitals will be vaccinated by their employers.

“The Hudson Regional Health Commission is working closely with County Executive DeGise to ensure that the first wave of vaccinations is administered efficiently and effectively,” Carrie Nawrocki, executive director of HRHC, said. “In the coming days, our team of health experts will be working around the clock to begin operations at Hudson County’s first vaccination center and start distribution immediately after receiving our first shipment.”

DeGise and the Office of Emergency Management continue to work with all available partners, as has been done since the onset of the pandemic, to ensure the vaccination site has the necessary staffing and equipment to run efficiently and effectively.

Members of the Hudson County Vaccine Task Force who are actively participating include the Hudson County Improvement Authority and County Department of Roads and Public Property which are preparing the site for use; the Hudson County Schools of Technology, which is providing technical and IT assistance; Hudson County Sheriff Francis X. “Frank” Schillari and the Hudson County Sheriff’s Office, who is assisting with crowd and traffic control and others.

DeGise is monitoring the vaccine-distribution process closely with all 12 Hudson mayors and local health officers and will make regular reports available to all elected officials and relevant stakeholders.

The Vaccine Task Force anticipates having its first briefing with Hudson County mayors later this week.

Vaccines will be administered by appointment only and additional information about how eligible individuals may register to be vaccinated at the site will be made available in the coming days.

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Kevin A. Canessa Jr. is the editor of and broadcaster at The Observer, a place where he has served on and off since 2006. He is responsible for the editorial content of the newspaper and website, the production of the e-Newspaper, writing several stories per week (including the weekly editorial), conducting live broadcasts on Facebook Live, including a weekly recap of the news — and much more behind the scenes. Between 2006 and 2008, he introduced the newspaper to its first-ever blog — which included podcasts, audio and video. Originally from Jersey City, Kevin lived in Kearny until 2004, lived in Port St. Lucie. Florida, for four years until February 2016 and in March of that year, he moved back to West Hudson to return to The Observer full time. Click Here to send Kevin an email.