Wednesday, March 10, 2021
The Atlantic County Division of Public Health is participating in a pilot distribution of 500 doses of the new Johnson & Johnson COVID-19 vaccine. Public health nurses will be administering the vaccine over the next few weeks to recipients of the county’s home delivered meal program.
“We felt it was important to allocate this vaccine for those who are eligible but homebound and unable to get to a vaccination site,” stated County Executive Dennis Levinson. “Because this is a one dose vaccine and only requires refrigeration, it is ideal for this purpose. Our nurses are working with our case managers and Meals on Wheels staff to provide this service.”
According to Levinson, letters were distributed to each of the home delivered meal customers to advise them of the Johnson & Johnson vaccines, followed up by a phone call to see if they had a need and interest in being vaccinated.
“We’re pleased to be able to accommodate this segment of our population that was not being adequately addressed by the existing vaccination options,” Levinson said. “If not for this resource, many of these vulnerable residents might likely remain unvaccinated.”
The county executive also acknowledged the difficulty many eligible individuals, especially the elderly and those without computer access, are having in finding appointments. He encourages residents 75 and older who are not home delivered meal recipients to call the recently established state hotline 856-249-7007 for assistance.
“I’ve heard first hand from people who have successfully obtained appointments through this hotline, but you must be 75 or older,” he said.
“If the county receives more vaccine beyond these initial Johnson and Johnson doses, we may be able to further expand our distribution, but for now it is exclusively for this targeted population.”