By: Michael Mandarino, Follow South Jersey Managing Editor
TRENTON, N.J. — As its effort to vaccinate 70% of its adult population winds down, New Jersey has begun the process of shutting down the six COVID-19 vaccine mega sites that opened earlier this year.
Rowan College of South Jersey’s Gloucester County campus and the Atlantic City Convention Center were the two southern-most COVID-19 vaccine mega site locations in New Jersey. These two mega sites stopped administering first doses to community members on May 26 and 29, respectively. However, these mega sites will remain open until June 18 and 19, respectively, when they’ll stop administering second doses to community members. Burlington County’s mega site, which is located inside the Moorestown Mall, will stop administering first doses of the vaccine to community members on July 1 and second doses on July 23.
“With close to 1,800 vaccination sites located across the state, the time has now come for us to begin to transition away from the mega site model that we built at the very beginning of our vaccination effort and to the community-based model that will see us through to the end [of the COVID-19 pandemic],” Gov. Murphy said during his COVID-19 briefing on Wednesday afternoon.
At this time, New Jersey’s six COVID-19 vaccine mega sites have combined to administer more than 2,000,000 doses of the vaccine models to community members. Nearly one million New Jerseyans are fully inoculated against the COVID-19 pandemic thanks to these mega sites, but as Gov. Murphy noted, the state wants to focus in on local efforts to vaccinate community members throughout the remainder of the pandemic.
As of Thursday morning, New Jersey reported a total of 8,755,436 doses of the COVID-19 vaccine administered throughout the state. The state’s COVID-19 dashboard also reported that a total of 4,278,312 New Jerseyans are now fully inoculated against the pandemic after receiving their second shot of the Pfizer or Moderna models — or the single-shot Johnson & Johnson model. Nearly five million New Jersey residents have received at least one dose of the COVID-19 vaccine, as well.
New Jersey is now within 500,000 people of achieving its goal of fully inoculating 70% of its adult population — or 4.7 million people — by the end of June. The state set this goal when the global effort to vaccinate people against COVID-19 began in December.
“[Closing the mega sites] in no way means that our job is done or that we’ve accomplished our overall vaccination goals. We still have work to do,” Gov. Murphy said Wednesday. “But as I’ve said, we are now at the point where our attention will be focused on the local and community-based sites we’ve spent the better part of the last six months building and supporting, whether it’s at your corner pharmacy, at a school, or at a house of worship participating in our Grateful for the Shot program. Whatever it is, this phase is moving forward at full speed.”
You can use New Jersey’s COVID-19 vaccine appointment beta finder to schedule an appointment to get inoculated if you haven’t done so already. Some of New Jersey’s 1,800 locally-based vaccine sites also allow walk-ins.
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