HUNTERDON COUNTY, NJ – The Hunterdon County’s Health Department and Office of Emergency Management (OEM) are ready to establish a Point of Dispensing (POD) site for the distribution of COVID-19 vaccines, once the immunizations are made available, according to Freeholder Board Deputy Director Susan J. Soloway.
Soloway, the Board’s liaison for the Health Department, said, “When a vaccine becomes available, the state plan calls for the County Health Department to be one of the primary sources of vaccinations. And the good news is that Hunterdon County’s Health Department and OEM have worked together successfully over the years in training exercises, preparing for just the situation in which we now find ourselves. Years of preparation have created the strong foundation critical to the COVID-19 response, and the County is prepared for the phases of emergency response that lie ahead.”
“The state Health Department advises that when the vaccines are first available, perhaps before the end of the year, they will be in significantly limited supply and, according to the state’s planning documents, the priority for earliest vaccinations will be healthcare personnel who are likely to be exposed to or treat people with COVID-19,” Soloway said.
The state Health Department has indicated that pharmacies like CVS and Walgreens, in addition to medical providers, may also be used to distribute vaccinations.
“Health officials are advising that this effort is one of the most complex vaccine distribution initiatives ever. We are told this is due in large part to the ultra-cold temperature requirements of some the vaccine candidates, a two-dose requirement, a limited vaccine supply, and target population groups,” Soloway said.
“The record of the County’s Health Department in handling the COVID-19 health emergency in the county since last March, should give us all great confidence in the County Department’s ability to ensure safe delivery of vaccinations, when the time comes,” Soloway said.