This is a press release from Essex County. Press releases are official statements that have not been independently verified.

Essex County Executive Joseph N. DiVincenzo, Jr. announced a comprehensive plan to open five COVID-19 Vaccination Centers throughout Essex County when the vaccines become available. Residents from each of Essex County’s 22 municipalities will be assigned to a specific site, except resident from Newark, who will be able to get vaccinated at any of the five sites.

“Since March, the Coronavirus pandemic has impacted all of our lives and created numerous unforeseen challenges and obstacles. Very soon, vaccines for the Coronavirus will be available and, working in partnership with our 22 municipal mayors, health officers, public safety officials and emergency management personnel, we have developed a comprehensive plan to administer vaccines to Essex County residents,” DiVincenzo said. “In addition to wearing a mask, washing our hands, social distancing and getting tested, we encourage residents to help stop the spread of COVID-19 by getting vaccinated. Our comprehensive plan provides vaccination centers that are convenient to all Essex County residents. We encourage everyone to get the vaccine,” he added.

“Responding to a pandemic of this magnitude is a historical event. Under the leadership of County Executive DiVincenzo and working with our municipal partners, we have developed a vaccination program that will make it easy and convenient for every resident of Essex County to get vaccinated when the vaccines become available,” Essex County Health Officer Maya Lordo said. “While we respect those who do not want to receive the vaccine, from a public health perspective, getting inoculated will help tremendously to stop the spread of this deadly virus and create herd immunity,” she added.

The five locations and the municipalities assigned to each of them are as follows:

  • Essex County College, 303 University Avenue, Newark (Gym entrance on West Market Street): Newark, East Orange and Irvington.
  • Essex County Donald M. Payne, Sr. School of Technology, 498-544 West Market Street, Newark: Newark, East Orange and Irvington. (This site will be set up at a later date.)
  • Former Kmart building, 235 Prospect Avenue, West Orange: West Orange, Cedar Grove, Essex Fells, Montclair, Newark, Nutley and Verona.
  • Livingston Mall, former Sears building, 112 Eisenhower Parkway, Livingston (Entrance is in the back): Livingston, Belleville, Maplewood, Millburn, Newark, Orange and South Orange.
  • Essex County West Caldwell School of Technology, 620 Passaic Avenue, West Caldwell: West Caldwell, Bloomfield, Caldwell, Fairfield, Glen Ridge, Newark, North Caldwell and Roseland.

Residents of Newark will be able to make an appointment at any of the five sites because of the size of the city’s population.

Limited doses of the vaccine will be available initially, and the State Department of Health has compiled a phased in approach to ensure the vaccine is distributed in a fair and equitable manner until larger quantities of the vaccine become available. Those who are eligible to receive the vaccine first are healthcare workers who may have contact with infected patients or infectious materials and people who are at a higher risk of severe COVID-19 illness, including those over the age of 65 and those with underlying health issues. Next to receive the vaccine will be critical populations which include, but are not limited to, healthcare workers (hospital, long-term care, home care, urgent care and clinics, dialysis centers, dental offices, funeral homes, pharmacies public health, group homes, EMS); first responders, food and agriculture workers, transportation, education and child care, energy, water and sanitation, law enforcement and government; adults at higher risk (long term care residents, people ages 65 and older, those with underlying medical conditions, immunocompromised, incarcerated, homeless shelters, group homes and other congregate settings such as psychiatric facilities); and others at high risk (communities that have disproportionately acquired or died from COVID-19, colleges and universities, people with disabilities and people who are under- or uninsured). The general population will be vaccinated last.

“The vaccines are the light at the end of the tunnel, but we still have to continue wearing a mask, social distancing, washing our hands and practicing good hygiene, and be tested regularly,” NJ State Senator and Deputy Chief of Staff Teresa Ruiz said.

“When the possibility of a COVID-19 vaccine became feasible for 2020, we understood how crucial it would be to provide it to our residents in a timely fashion. I thank our County Executive Joe DiVincenzo, our Health Officials, and the leadership of our Administration for implementing an effective distribution plan for the vaccine,” Freeholder President Brendan Gill said. “Essex County has been hit extremely hard by COVID-19. We have more positive cases, and have had more COVID related deaths, than any county in New Jersey. The availability of the vaccine does not mean the end of COVID-19, but we are happy to provide our citizens with an option to protect themselves from contracting the virus, while also protecting our community by helping to stop the spread of the pandemic,” he added.

“I thank our medical professionals across the country for working tirelessly to develop the COVID-19 vaccine, and I thank our Administration, led by County Executive DiVincenzo, for implementing a plan to distribute the vaccine to our citizens,” Freeholder Vice President Wayne Richardson said. “Getting back to our ‘normal’ way of life prior to the pandemic will happen, but the first step in this process is ensuring that seniors, healthcare workers, and citizens at high risk of suffering from COVID-19 complications have access to the vaccine as quickly and as efficiently as possible,” Freeholder Vice President Wayne Richardson said.

“Newark is the hardest hit city in the state. We have the highest number of cases and deaths related to COVID. This vaccine is another tool to help prevent the spread of the pandemic and we appreciate all the work being done,” Newark Mayor Ras Baraka said.

“I want to thank the County for all the work they have done and for working with all the municipalities. This is a testament to what we can accomplish for our residents when we work together,” Irvington Mayor Tony Vauss said.

“As with the intensive and successful supervisory coordination to the current and on-going COVID testing program, our county Office of Emergency Management is fully prepared to continue its prominent mission in the roll out of all approved vaccines to halt this deadly menace,” Essex County Sheriff Armando Fontoura said. “We have devised this public health plan to ensure the safe and secure distribution of the vaccine with County Executive DiVincenzo and his team, as well as with our local health care providers, doctors and nurses,” he added.

When vaccinations are available, the sites will be open from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. Residents can make appointments at www.EssexCOVID.org or by calling 973-877-8456. Appointments only can be made after the County receives the vaccines. Vaccinations will be given in two doses. Residents making reservations to receive the vaccination will receive two appointments. It is critical that residents attend both appointments.

Residents will be asked to provide their medical insurance information and their insurance provider will be billed $16.94 for the first dose and $28.39 for the second dose. If a resident does not have insurance, the cost of the vaccine will be covered by the Health Resources and Services Administration’s Provide Relief Fund. There will be no out-of-pocket expenses charged to residents.

Each vaccination site is set up in a similar fashion. Residents entering the site will first be pre-screened to verify they have an appointment. Those who do not have an appointment will not be allowed to receive the vaccine that day. Residents will then proceed to a registration table where they will be provided with their paperwork for their visit and receive a card to remind them about their second appointment. After being inoculated with the vaccine, residents will be required to wait 15 minutes while they are monitored for any side effects.

Social distancing guidelines will be followed at every site and areas will be sanitized on a regular basis throughout the day.