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The Burlington County Health Department is expanding access to COVID-19 vaccines and the strong protection they offer by bringing vaccine directly to the communities where people live and work.
The Department held the first of several community vaccine clinics being planned this month last Friday at the John F. Kennedy Center in Willingboro, where dozens of people received first dose shots of the Moderna vaccine, including several walk-ins.
Additional clinics will be held over the next several weeks in Pemberton, Burlington City and Willingboro. The scheduled clinics are:
“COVID-19 vaccines are safe, offer strong protection, and they are critical to getting people back to work and school, and to enjoying life the way they did before the pandemic,” said Burlington County Health Department Director Dr. Herb Conaway. “Taking vaccine on the road to our communities can help us reach more people, and it’s vital that we get as many people vaccinated as possible.”
Residents in need of rides to vaccination sites can call 2-1-1 for transportation assistance. Free and discounted rides are available for users of wheelchairs and walkers, and personal aides are welcome to ride along.
Close to 60% of Burlington County adults have now received at least one dose of COVID-19 vaccine and more than 43% are now fully vaccinated. And 84% of the county’s population of residents 65 and older have received at least one dose of vaccine.
Both rates are among the top half of New Jersey’s 21 counties. However, health officials continue to encourage more people to get vaccinated, particularly in some communities with subpar vaccination rates.
According to the latest vaccination figures, 45% of Willingboro’s adults have received at least one vaccination shot. Burlington City’s vaccination rate is around 43% and Pemberton Township’s is 32%.
“Overall, the county is doing very well, but we know there are pockets where the vaccination rate is lower than it should be, and we’re committed to addressing that,” Conaway said. “That means bringing the vaccine directly to these communities.”
The County’s vaccine clinic this Saturday, May 15, will also be held in conjunction with the Burlington County Board of Commissioners’ monthly food distribution day.
From 10 AM to noon, families in need will be able to pick up free boxes of groceries and receive a vaccination shot.
“Many of the residents struggling to provide enough nutritious food for their families may also be among those who haven’t been vaccinated,” said Commissioner Director Felicia Hopson. “We’re giving them the opportunity to get vaccinated right then and there. No appointment needed.”
In addition to the pop-up clinics, the Health Department continues to vaccinate homebound residents and other vulnerable populations with its mobile vaccination program, and the County also continues to assist with operations at the Burlington County Vaccine Mega-Site at the Moorestown Mall, where more than 300,000 have received vaccine.
The Health Department has also taken steps to ease the appointment scheduling process. Residents can now register for appointments by downloading the Burlington County Health App to your cell phone or tablet for free from either the Google Play Store or the iPhone App Store. Just type “Burlington County Health App” in either store’s search bar to download.
After downloading and opening the app, find and tap the white vaccine registration button, enter the required information and tap “SUBMIT.” Registrants should receive a call from a New Jersey Department of Health scheduling agent within a day or two to confirm the time and location of an upcoming appointment.
“From the start of the pandemic last year, our County has dedicated our personnel, resources and energy towards helping our residents get through this crisis. We were among the first counties to launch a COVID-19 testing program and we’ve been leaders in distributing PPE and food to impacted families,” Hopson said. “Now we’re striving to fill the gaps and get our hardest-to-reach populations vaccinated. We’re proud of what we’ve accomplished, but we know the job isn’t finished until everyone who wants a vaccine is protected.”
The Burlington County Health Department held the first of several community vaccine clinics being planned this month last Friday at the John F. Kennedy Center in Willingboro, where dozens of people received first dose shots of the Moderna vaccine, including several walk-ins.