EDITORIAL — Bergen County must do better with COVID-19 vaccines

When Kearny Mayor Alberto G. Santos expressed his disappointment a few weeks ago that Kearny was only getting 100 doses of the COVID-19 vaccine, we were equally as frustrated. (Fortunately last week, that number tripled.)

And yet, we learned just a few days ago that number pales in comparison to the number of doses being distributed to municipalities in Bergen County and, for the purposes of this editorial, North Arlington (and Lyndhurst.)

North Arlington Mayor Daniel H. Pronti told us the weekly dose allotment he’s been getting. And it’s a big-fat zero.

Yes, zero.


Not one.

Not a single dose of the potentially life-saving vaccine has been given to municipalities in Bergen County. Two major sites have been set up in the county — at the New Bridge Medical Center in Paramus and at the parking lot at the Meadowlands.

That’s it.

In Hudson County and elsewhere, in addition to large-scale vaccination sites, municipalities are being given doses, supposedly based on population, for distribution at local clinics. And while the local doses in Hudson are nowhere near where they need to be, they’re there, at least.

For residents of North Arlington and elsewhere in Bergen, it’s the mega-sites or nowhere. This is not only unacceptable, it’s obscene.

Bergen County must reconsider this abhorrent decision to shut out local towns. Senior citizens have it rough enough at it is, and to expect them to have to travel to East Rutherford or Paramus — then have to wait on horrid lines to boot — is plain cruel. It also says very little of the seniors who do not have access to transport.

It is our hope someone in Bergen County will hear this plea — and the plea made by Pronti — and start offering doses so local health departments may conduct clinics.

Absolutely nothing else will suffice.

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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.