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Dr. Ezza Khan, with Hunterdon Infectious Disease Specialists, discusses the difference between a COVID-19 Booster shot and a third dose of the COVID-19 Vaccine.
Since December 2020, Hunterdon Healthcare has organized and staffed over 50 COVID-19 vaccination clinics administering more than 43,000 shots to individuals aged 5 years and older. This number includes clinics for Hunterdon Healthcare employees, regional healthcare workers, adults, children, adolescents, and several specialty clinics designated for certain underserved groups.
Over the past 13 months, COVID-19 vaccination clinics have been held at various locations including the Hunterdon Medical Center Day Hospital, Hunterdon Medical Group primary care practices, the Hunterdon Health & Wellness Center at Clinton, the 31 North Office Center on Route 31, Hunterdon Central Regional High School, and most recently, 600 Corporate Drive in Lebanon. In April 2021, several “mega clinics” were held at Hunterdon Central Regional High School and hosted over 10,000 people from across the region.
The Hunterdon Healthcare vaccination clinic, located at 600 Corporate Drive in Lebanon, NJ, hosts between 600 to 900 individuals each Wednesday from 3 p.m. to 7 p.m. It takes approximately 50 to 60 Hunterdon Healthcare employees and volunteers to staff these large clinics every week. According to Barb Tofani, DNP, RN, NEA-BC, Assistant Vice President, Outpatient and Ambulatory Services, “Coordinating and managing these large-scale vaccine clinics isn’t always easy, but we have been successful due to the teamwork and ingenuity of our dedicated staff and volunteers.” She continued, “We are very proud of what we have accomplished over the past year; the gratitude and thanks from our patients and community have made it all worthwhile.”
Laurie Greenfield-Esarco from Lebanon, who recently attended the vaccine clinic stated, “Just left Hunterdon Healthcare’s Vaccine Clinic in Lebanon. It is well run and efficient. Thank you Hunterdon Healthcare! I was able to get my kids’ booster shots with no problems!”
Behind the scenes, the Vaccination Scheduling Team, led by Mhegan Harris, Revenue Cycle Operations and System Analyst, Hunterdon Medical Group, is responsible for setting up 1st and 2nd dose appointments, answering questions, educating callers on the various vaccines, calling patients every week for appointment reminders, and on many occasions, helping callers find vaccines closer to their home if unable to make it to one of our clinics. At the height of vaccine demand, this group had over 60 re-deployed staff members answering phones and setting up appointments. To date, over 36,000 calls have come through the vaccine scheduling line.
In addition, Hunterdon Healthcare has organized several COVID-19 vaccination specialty clinics for the immunocompromised, the homeless, those experiencing domestic violence, and one for the non-English speaking population. Hunterdon Healthcare staff also attended the New Jersey Festival of Ballooning for two days last summer to help vaccinate the community and arranged vaccines for dozens of homebound patients. According to Patrick Gavin, President & CEO of Hunterdon Healthcare, “It has been a top priority for us to make the COVID-19 vaccine available to as many people in our community as possible.” He continued, “Our staff has done an amazing job moving tens of thousands of patients through our clinics in a safe and efficient manner. As this pandemic continues on, our staff has not wavered in their commitment to keeping our community healthy and safe.”
Hunterdon Healthcare COVID-19 vaccination clinics at the Lebanon, NJ location will continue each Wednesday through March 23, 2022 and will offer:
- 1st and 2nd dose of Pfizer vaccine for children age 5 -11
- 1st, 2nd and Booster dose of Pfizer vaccinations only for persons age 12 and over
- 1st, 2nd and Booster dose of Moderna vaccinations for persons aged 18 and over, and
- 3rd dose Moderna or Pfizer vaccinations for immunocompromised individuals.
Please visit https://www.hunterdonhealthcare.org/covid-19-vaccine-appointment-scheduler/ to schedule an appointment or call (908) 237-4238 if you need assistance.
Pictured below: Anitra Grant-Myles, CPhT, Advanced Pharmacy Technician draws the vaccine.
Oleksandr Pistun, MD with Hunterdon Pulmonary & Critical Care and an Intensive Care Unit (ICU) physician discusses why you should get a COVID-19 booster shot and the critical care patients he is seeing in the ICU.
Are COVID-19 Booster Shots Safe for Pregnant Women or Women Thinking of Becoming Pregnant? Mamie Bowers, Obstetrician and Gynecologist with All Women’s Healthcare shares her thoughts on why getting a booster is important.
COVID-19 is a respiratory infection caused by a novel (new) virus that arose from the area of Wuhan, China in December 2019. The virus that causes COVID-19 is thought to spread mainly from person to person, mainly through respiratory droplets produced when an infected person coughs or sneezes. These droplets can land in the mouths or noses of people who are nearby or possibly be inhaled into the lungs. Spread is more likely when people are in close contact with one another (within about 6 feet). Recent studies have suggested that COVID-19 may also be spread by people who are not showing symptoms.
It may be possible that a person can get COVID-19 by touching a surface or object that has the virus on it and then touching their own mouth, nose, or possibly their eyes. This is not thought to be the main way the virus spreads, according to the CDC, but we are still learning more about this virus.
The virus that causes COVID-19 is spreading very easily and sustainably between people. People are thought to be most contagious when they are most symptomatic (the sickest).
Signs and Symptoms
People with COVID-19 have had a wide range of symptoms reported – ranging from mild symptoms to severe illness.
These symptoms may appear 2-14 days after exposure to the virus:
- Fever or chills
- Shortness of breath or difficulty breathing
- Muscle or body aches
- New loss of taste or smell
- Sore throat
- Congestion or runny nose
- Nausea or vomiting
You can help stop Coronavirus by knowing the signs and symptoms.
When to Seek Medical Attention
If you have any of these emergency warning signs* for COVID-19 get medical attention immediately:
- Trouble breathing
- Persistent pain or pressure in the chest
- New confusion
- Inability to wake or stay awake
- Bluish lips or face
*This list is not all-inclusive. Please consult your medical provider for any other symptoms that are severe or concerning to you.
Call 911 if you have a medical emergency: Notify the operator that you have, or think you might have, COVID-19. If possible, put on a cloth face covering or mask before medical help arrives.
The New Jersey Department of Health opened a hotline for the community to call with any questions concerning the Coronavirus: 1-800-222-1222.
How do I get tested?
If you are exhibiting symptoms of COVID-19 these are your options for testing:
- Call your primary care provider for an assessment or advice.
- If you do not have a primary care provider, please call Hunterdon Healthcare’s Physician Referral Service at 1-800-511-4462.
Tips to Avoid the Spread of Respiratory Illness:
People of all ages can be infected by the new COVID-19. Older people and those with pre-existing medical conditions (such as asthma, diabetes, and heart disease) appear to be more vulnerable to becoming severely ill.
There are simple things you can do to help keep yourself and others healthy.
COVID-19 vaccines are safe and effective! Please click here for more information on the COVID-19 vaccine.
Wash Your Hands Frequently
Regularly and thoroughly clean your hands with soap and water for at least 20 seconds, especially after coughing or sneezing. Use alcohol-based hand sanitizer if soap and water are not available to kill viruses that may be on your hands.
Maintain Social Distancing
Social distancing will help slow down and stop the spread of highly contagious diseases. Maintain at least 6 feet distance between yourself and others.
Avoid Touching Eyes, Nose, and Mouth
Hands touch many surfaces and can easily pick up viruses. Once contaminated, hands can transfer the virus to your eyes, nose, or mouth. From there, the virus can enter your body and make you sick.
Practice Respiratory Hygiene
Make sure you, and the people around you, follow good respiratory hygiene. This means covering your mouth and nose with your bent elbow or tissue when you cough or sneeze. Dispose of the used tissue immediately.
Wear a Mask (Face Covering) in Public
In light of new data about how COVID-19 spreads, along with evidence of widespread COVID-19 illness in communities across the country, CDC recommends that people wear a mask to cover their nose and mouth in the community setting. This is to protect people around you if you are infected but do not have symptoms.
Stay Home When You Are Sick
Stay home if you feel unwell. If you have a fever, cough, and difficulty breathing, seek medical attention and call in advance to allow your healthcare provider to quickly direct you to the right health facility. This will also protect you and help prevent the spread of viruses and other infections.
Clean and disinfect frequently touched surfaces and objects
Wipe surfaces with Clorox or Lysol disinfecting wipes with at least 70% alcohol. Try and avoid getting moisture into the connection jacks of cellphones, iPads, etc. Don’t’ spray disinfectant directly onto a surface, spray on a cloth and wipe clean. Don’t forget to clean highly used objects and areas such as phones, keyboards, tablets, doorknobs, handrails, etc.
There is a lot of information being shared about the COVID-19 vaccine through every possible communication channel but unfortunately, all of this information isn’t always factual. This misinformation creates unnecessary fear and a hesitancy to receiving the COVID-19 vaccine.
Our Chief Medical Officer of Hunterdon Healthcare Partners, Geralyn Prosswimmer, MD, sat down with us to address many of the vaccine-related questions and misinformation causing many people to choose not to get vaccinated. In each video, Dr. Prosswimmer addresses a specific question or concern about the vaccine currently circulating online, in the media, or even in conversations with friends and family. Please take a moment to watch each video below and feel free to share them with others to help us better educate each other and our community.
More importantly, if you would like to schedule a vaccine appointment you can conveniently do so by visiting our Online Scheduler (Click Here) or by calling our Vaccination Scheduling Center at (908) 237-4238 weekdays from 8:00 am to 5:00 pm.
We are offering COVID-19 vaccination clinics each Wednesday. Second dose appointments will be scheduled at the first dose appointment.
Medical Minutes with Dr. Geralyn Prosswimmer
- The COVID-19 vaccine isn’t as effective for children under the age of 18 years old, right? Click here to view the facts.
- Since the COVID-19 vaccine was rushed to market should it really be trusted? Click here to view the facts.
- Isn’t the COVID-19 vaccine made with fetal tissue? Click here to view the facts.
- Isn’t it true that only seniors and people who are already sick need to get the COVID-19 vaccine? Click here to view the facts.
- Isn’t it possible to contract COVID from the COVID-19 vaccine? Click here to view the facts.
- Is the Johnson & Johnson COVID-19 vaccine safe? Wasn’t it withdrawn from use? Click here to view the facts.
- Is the COVID-19 vaccine dangerous to children? Click here to view the facts.
- Individuals with pre-existing health conditions should not get the COVID-19 vaccine, right? Click here to view the facts.
- If you give the COVID-19 vaccine to a child it can change their body’s DNA permanently, right? Click here to view the facts.
- If I’m trying to have a baby I shouldn’t get the COVID-19 vaccine, right? Doesn’t it cause miscarriage? Click here to view the facts.
- If you already had COVID do you need the COVID-19 vaccine? Click here to view the facts.
- If I get the COVID-19 vaccine it can alter my DNA, right? Click here to view the facts.
- If everyone around me gets the COVID 19 vaccine then I don’t need to get it, right? Click here to view the facts.
- If children have better and stronger immune systems then do they really need a COVID-19 vaccine? Click here to view the facts.
- I heard the COVID-19 vaccine contains a microchip that allows the government to track me Isn’t that wrong? Click here to view the facts.
- I can’t get the COVID-19 vaccine because it will alter my menstrual cycle, right? Click here to view the facts.
- Getting the COVID-19 vaccine in addition to all the other vaccines that are necessary can overload your immune system, right? Click here to view the facts.
- Doesn’t the flu shot also protect you from COVID-19? Click here to view the facts.
- Can’t the COVID-19 vaccine cause people to have psychotic episodes? Click here to view the facts.
- Can the COVID-19 vaccine cause children to develop serious heart conditions? Click here to view the facts.
- Aren’t the side effects from the COVID-19 vaccine dangerous? Click here to view the facts.
NJDOH Tweet Features HMC 5 South Nurse, Katelyn Laeyt
On August 24, 2021, the New Jersey Department of Health tweeted a video of our own 5 South Nurse, Katelyn Laeyt speaking about her own personal experience on receiving the COVID-19 vaccine. Thank you, Katelyn, for sharing your experience and for all your hard work!
You can watch the full video below:
Hunterdon Healthcare is offering monoclonal antibody treatment to COVID-19 positive outpatients. The monoclonal antibody treatment can be used to help COVID-19 patients with mild to moderate symptoms and who are at high risk of progressing to severe disease.
“Antibodies are proteins that our bodies make to fight viruses like the one that causes COVID-19. Antibodies that are made in a laboratory act like natural antibodies to fight the virus, stopping it from attaching to your cells and growing. It must be used early in the course of the infection before the virus has reached maximum growth. Monoclonal antibodies are directed against a specific virus, in this case, the coronavirus that causes COVID-19,” explained Geralyn Prosswimmer, MD, Chief Medical Officer, Hunterdon Healthcare Partners. Dr. Prosswimmer added, “Monoclonal antibody treatment may reduce the chance of hospitalization for those at highest risk for severe disease. While not FDA approved, this product has emergency use authorization due to the pandemic.” Limited doses are supplied to hospitals by the State.
Monoclonal antibody treatment is given intravenously and is administered at Hunterdon Medical Center in a specially created infusion center. This treatment can be used for adults with mild to moderate COVID-19 symptoms who:
● Test positive for SARS CoV2.
● Are within 10 days of the start of their symptoms.
● Are at high risk of getting very sick from COVID-19 due to age, chronic conditions, BMI, immunosuppressed or if you are pregnant.
Patients who meet these criteria can discuss monoclonal antibody treatment with their Hunterdon Healthcare primary care physician. For more information call the Hunterdon Healthcare Infusion Center at 908-237-4240.
COVID-19 Symptoms Include:
● Shortness of breath or difficulty breathing
● Fever or chills
● Muscle or body aches
● Congestion or runny nose
● Vomiting or diarrhea
● New loss of taste of smell
Symptoms can range from mild to severe illness, and appear 2-14 days after you are exposed to the virus that causes COVID-19.
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