As you surely know, COVID-19 vaccines are being distributed throughout the United States and right here in Monmouth County. That’s good news. However, over the past few months, we’ve experienced significant challenges with both supply and distribution of COVID-19 vaccines.
Additionally, the state-mandated process for getting a vaccine here in New Jersey has been anything but straightforward, creating frustration and confusion for many of our residents.
Despite these problems, more and more people are getting vaccinated. According to the CDC’s data on Monmouth County, as of April 19, about 28 percent of our total County population has been fully vaccinated; 35 percent of the 18+ population has been full vaccinated; and about 60 percent of the 65+ population has been fully vaccinated. On one hand, that’s very encouraging news. On the other hand, it’s clear there’s still a long way to go.
Here are a few important points about the vaccination process:
· Eligibility: As of April 19, all individuals aged 16 and older who live, work or study in New Jersey are eligible for COVID-19 vaccines, as determined by the state (not the counties). For more information, please see www.covid19.nj.gov. While we’re grateful to see more people become eligible for the vaccine, there’s still not enough supply flowing into Monmouth County.
· Locations: There are multiple, independent providers – like pharmacies, hospitals and community health centers – offering COVID-19 vaccines right here in Monmouth County. The complete list of independent providers, with their locations and contact information, is available on our website at www.visitmonmouth.com. Monmouth County operates just two of these vaccination sites – one at Brookdale Community College in Lincroft, and one at the County Agricultural Building in Freehold. Both are free of charge to those who qualify.
· Scheduling: If you want to get a COVID-19 vaccine at ANY location in our area, you must schedule an appointment to do so. To sign up for the vaccination sites operated by Monmouth County, visit our website. To register with independent providers, contact them directly, either online or by phone.
While we wait for the supply of vaccines to increase, it’s important to remember that the pandemic is not over. Everyone has a role to play. That means: Get tested for COVID, especially if you have symptoms. Monmouth County offers free COVID testing for all citizens. If you don’t have symptoms, then please wear a mask, keep a safe distance when in public, avoid crowds and wash your hands frequently.
Here in Monmouth County, we’re doing our part to help you, your families, our businesses and our communities get through these challenging times.
It’s very important that we look out for one another, and especially for our senior citizens, during these times. Please consider lending a hand to seniors who may need help getting vaccinated.
We understand how frustrating the vaccination process has been for so many of you. Many vaccination sites are hard to contact and many have long waiting lists. Even though we don’t have control over the supply of vaccines, the County is focused on things we CAN control, like pushing the state to increase our supply of vaccines and helping YOU understand what you need to know about getting vaccinated.
Rest assured, Monmouth County, we will get through this pandemic together. Brighter days are ahead.