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Tedesco: Bergen Category 1A Health Care Workers Can Get COVID Vaccine Next Week At New Bridge

Bergen County Executive Jim Tedesco at the New Bridge Medical Center Annex in Paramus where the vaccine will be administered.
Bergen County Executive Jim Tedesco at the New Bridge Medical Center Annex in Paramus where the vaccine will be administered. Photo Credit: BERGEN COUNTY EXECUTIVE

Doctors, nurses, pharmacists, dentists and all other Category 1A health care workers from Bergen County can get doses of the COVID-19 vaccine sometime next week at New Bridge Medical Center in Paramus, County Executive Jim Tedesco announced Tuesday.

Officials anticipate the arrival of 1,000 doses of the Moderna COVID-19 vaccine "within the next week," Tedesco said.

UPDATE (Dec. 23): "In coordination with the State DOH, Bergen County will soon announce the designated registration process for category 1A healthcare workers," Tedesco said. "Stay tuned and thank you to all our frontline workers for your continued effort in this fight."

Based on priorities established by the New Jersey Department of Health  and the Center for Diseases Control & Prevention, the doses "will serve Bergen County category 1A healthcare workers who have not received the Pfizer BioNTech COVID-19 vaccine through their employer or the federal Pharmacy Partnership for Long Term Care (LTC) Program administered through CVS and Walgreens," the county executive said.

Last week, all five Bergen County hospitals received shipments of the Pfizer BioNTech COVID-19 vaccine, Tedesco said.

"With the arrival of the Moderna COVID-19 vaccine, all Bergen County category 1A healthcare workers will now be eligible for vaccination," he said Tuesday.

These include "any paid or unpaid person working or volunteering in a 'healthcare setting' who may have direct or indirect contact with infectious persons or materials," Tedesco said.

After that comes the 1B category of essential workers and then the 1C category of adults 65+ with high-risk medical conditions, he said. 

The vaccines will be distributed at the county's Alternative Care Facility, a field hospital wing constructed by the Army Corps of Engineers with help from FEMA earlier this year on the campus of Bergen New Bridge Medical Center.

The facility can distribute more than 300 vaccinations per day, which Tedesco said qualifies it as a “large” Point of Dispensing (POD) location in New Jersey.

Bergen New Bridge recently received designation from the state health department to serve as one of the first “initial distribution points” in New Jersey for the Moderna vaccine, the county executive said.

“It is essential that those on the frontlines in our fight against the virus receive the vaccine as fast as humanly possible,” Tedesco said.

Classification for category 1A healthcare workers, he said, include:

  • doctors, nurses, pharmacists, dentists, any other licensed or registered health professionals;
  • EMS workers and paramedics;
  • funeral staff, mortuary staff, coroners and staff;
  • staff in areas of facility management, security, food services, environmental services, administrative services, human resources, reception, language services, information technology, laboratory and other support areas;
  • community health workers/promoters, doulas, health educators, public health professionals, trainees, students, volunteers, essential caregivers;
  • vaccinating site staff and contractors.

COVID-19 vaccines "will continue to be rolled out in phases and the County of Bergen in partnership with Bergen New Bridge Medical Center will continue to work closely with federal, state and local partners," Tedesco said.The county is also "committed to continue offering COVID-19 testing as long as it is needed," he said. "Please look out for a forthcoming announcement regarding January testing dates."

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