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Congressman Sires Applauds Announcement of Mass Vaccination Site in Newark

Mar 26, 2021
Press Release

(Washington, D.C.) – Today, the White House announced that Newark, NJ would be one of three locations housing federally run mass vaccination sites.

“The announcement by the White House that Newark will be one of three locations partnering with the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) to open a mass vaccination site is welcome news to our community,” Said Rep. Sires. “The equitable distribution of vaccines has been a key issue for me since the development of vaccines were announced. This vaccination site will allow us to reach vulnerable communities and quickly vaccinate individuals so they can begin to return to normalcy.”

Earlier today, the White House, along with NJ Governor Phil Murphy, announced plans for Newark to become a mass vaccination site through the FEMA pilot vaccination program. This site will receive vaccines directly from the federal government and these vaccines will not impact the supply that New Jersey already receives from the federal government. The site will be located at the Naimoli Family Athletic and Recreational Facility at the New Jersey Institute of Technology in Newark and will have the capacity to vaccinate 6,000 individuals per day.

Congressman Sires joined New Jersey colleagues in a letter to the Department of Homeland Security (DHS), led by Rep. Donald Payne (D-NJ), urging the Administration to bring their FEMA pilot vaccination program to Essex County, NJ. Full text of the letter is below:

 

The Honorable Peter T. Gaynor

Administrator

Federal Emergency Management Agency

500 C Street, SW, Room 8 SW

Washington, DC 20472

Dear Administrator Gaynor:

We respectfully ask that you include Essex County, New Jersey, as a candidate for a Type 1 Federal Pilot Community Vaccination Center.

The COVID-19 pandemic has been especially hard on New Jersey and Essex County is the hardest-hit county in the state.  The nearly 2,500 Essex County deaths represent 12 percent of the statewide mortality total, and the 74,000 cases are 9 percent of the state’s total. Statewide, there have been over 878,000 positive cases and over 24,000 deaths since this pandemic began.

We are currently in a race against new variants of the virus.  Vaccine administration has increased this year, with over 200,000 doses administered in Essex County and 2.6 million people statewide having received at least one dose.  Despite this success, COVID-19 cases have been on a slight increase since February. We need additional federal support to get as many shots into arms as quickly as possible.

A Federal Pilot Community Vaccination Center would provide up to 6,000 vaccinations per day, helping to turn the corner and decrease the overall COVID-19 positivity rate in Essex County.  These sites are to be selected based on data that includes the CDC’s Social Vulnerability Index. Under these guidelines, Essex County is rated with a “high” level of social vulnerability, indicating an increased risk to people’s lives and health during the ongoing public health emergency.

We respectfully and strongly urge you to include Essex County, New Jersey as a site for a Type 1 Federal Pilot Community Vaccination Center, and we are ready to assist in any way we can.

Sincerely,