PATERSON, NJ – Paterson residents and others that meet the eligibility criteria as outlined by the New Jersey Department of Health to receive the COVID-19 vaccine now have another option in the city.
On Wednesday, St. Joseph’s Health began administering vaccinations at Dr. Hani Awadallah School on Marshall Street. Members of the community in categories 1A and 1B are invited to book an appointment online to receive their COVID 19 vaccine.
“We have seen firsthand the effects of COVID-19 on individuals and families within our community,” says Lisa Brady, Chief Administrative Officer at St. Joseph’s Health. “Vaccination is safe and effective, and represents a tremendous step forward in our fight against the coronavirus pandemic.”
St. Joseph’s Health, which launched their vaccination program on December 18, has been administering on average 300 doses of vaccine per day with 325 administered to the public on February 3, the same day they opened their Community Vaccination Center. Additional appointments will be added over the coming weeks and months as the vaccine supply increases.
Noting that the first anniversary of the COVID-19 pandemic causing Paterson’s public schools to close is just weeks away, Superintendent Eileen Shafer said that “opening this vaccination facility to eligible members of the public is a significant step in the fight against the pandemic” and that “the partnership we have with St. Joseph’s Health to aid in their vaccination efforts is just one small part of working toward that day.”
“While we will not open school buildings until the data and the public health experts indicate that it is safe for our students and staff to re-enter them, we are doing everything we can to bring us to the day when students, teachers and all staff can safely return to learning together.”
Calling it “another sign that when it comes to fighting COVID we truly are one Paterson,” Mayor Andre Sayegh, who has been overseeing the city’s vaccination center at International High School, also celebrated the opening of the new site. Thanking St. Joseph’s for their partnership, Sayegh took the opportunity to renew his call to African American men to get vaccinated.
“While I’m usually a proponent of using history as a guide, I know that it’s a troubled past that has kept some members of our community from getting in line for this vaccine,” Sayegh said. “I am hopeful, however, that we will change that in Paterson and do what we can to make this deadly virus history.”