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When can I get the COVID-19 Vaccine?

UPDATE – April 23, 2021: Resumption of J&J Vaccine

The State of New Jersey Department of Health has shared notification of the resumption of Johnson & Johnson (Janssen) COVID-19 vaccine usage.

Administration of the Johnson & Johnson (Janssen) vaccine may continue for persons 18 years of age and older upon the release of the Food and Drug Administration’s (FDA) revised emergency use authorization (EUA) with updated facts sheets for patients and for providers.

UPDATE – APRIL 19, 2021: New Eligibility Groups Announced

The CDC and NJDOH have opened COVID-19 vaccination eligibility to all individuals age 16 years and older. Please note, the only vaccine approved for teens age 16-17 is Pfizer. If you are interested in receiving the vaccine, please include your name on our vaccination waitlist to be scheduled for an appointment at an upcoming Hunterdon Healthcare COVID-19 Vaccination Clinic.

Waiting List

To date, Hunterdon Healthcare has successfully administered more than 26,000 doses of the COVID-19 vaccine to individuals throughout the county and state.

Individuals on our waitlist who met the current eligibility criteria were contacted by a Hunterdon Healthcare Vaccination Call Center representative to schedule their appointments for the vaccine. Individuals will continue to be contacted as more vaccine arrives and eligibility groups are expanded.

Since early April, over 6,500 doses of the Moderna vaccine were administered at Hunterdon Medical Center and two clinics at Hunterdon Central Regional High School in Flemington.

COVID-19 Vaccination Clinic appointments will be scheduled from the waitlist for those who are eligible based on New Jersey vaccination phases – not by when you sign-up. As a reminder, the vaccine is distributed according to eligibility as per the New Jersey Department of Health and CDC guidelines. Vaccination clinics will be scheduled as the vaccine becomes available. There is no benefit in signing up yourself or others more than once.

When registered, you will receive a confirmation email and weekly status emails. If you receive your vaccination at another facility we ask that you remove your name from this list using the cancel link in the weekly status emails. This helps us to more quickly contact others who are on the list and would like to schedule appointments.

Please double-check that you typed in your phone number and email address correctly. Also, make sure your phone voicemail box is not full and that it is set up to receive messages. We have many, many people on our waitlist that we have been unable to reach due to the reasons listed above.

To register for Hunterdon Healthcare’s COVID-19 Vaccination Wait List click the following link: https://hunterdoncovidvaccine.org to complete the form.

UPDATE – APRIL 13, 2021 FDA, CDC Call for Pause in Use of Johnson & Johnson Vaccine

  • The FDA and CDC have called for a pause on the use of the J&J vaccine after six of the 6.8 million people who have received the vaccine experienced severe blood clots.
  • Tomorrow, the federal Advisory Committee on Immunization Practices will meet to further discuss these reported cases of blood clots and determine the best and safest course to follow. We expect additional federal guidance will follow and will share any new information as soon as it’s available.
  • Vaccination will continue at our site using the Moderna and Pfizer vaccines. These vaccines are not a part of this safety review.
  • According to the CDC, FDA, and NJDOH, individuals who have received the J&J vaccine, and experience abdominal pain, leg pain, shortness of breath, severe headache or other unusual symptoms within three weeks after vaccination should contact their healthcare provider.

FAQ

How do I place my name on the vaccine waitlist?

If I place my name on the waitlist am I guaranteed a vaccination?
Every individual who submits the online request form to be added to the waitlist will be called to schedule a vaccine when they are eligible to receive the vaccine and when the vaccine is available to distribute. Please be patient as it may be several weeks or longer before you are contacted to schedule an appointment. We encourage everyone interested in a COVID-19 vaccination to pursue all possible vaccination opportunities outside of Hunterdon Healthcare (i.e. CVS, Walgreens, ShopRite, Rite-Aid, local Health Department, state vaccine mega sites, etc.) in the event that you may be able to obtain the vaccine at an earlier date due to vaccine availability at different sites across the area/state.

How soon after I sign-up on the waiting list should I expect a call to schedule my vaccination?
Individuals on the waitlist will be prioritized by New Jersey Department of Health (NJDOH) eligibility requirements. Hunterdon Healthcare will schedule vaccination clinics as the vaccine is received. Individuals from the waitlist meeting the eligibility requirements will be pulled into a list and starting at the top contacted to schedule an appointment. Once all appointments for that clinic are filled the remaining names will still be on the waitlist, in the same order, until more vaccine is received and a new clinic scheduled. This process will be repeated for every clinic moving forward. Without knowing in advance how many vaccines we will receive for any one delivery or when we will receive the vaccine we are not able to offer specific time frames for scheduling a vaccination.

If I sign-up multiple times will it help me get the vaccine faster?
No. Individuals on the waitlist will be called based on their eligibility, to which they must attest when scheduled, and NOT their position on the list. Even if you include your name on the waitlist 10 times you will only be called when you meet the eligibility criteria and when the vaccine is available to offer. Signing-up using multiple emails will also not increase your chances or expedite an invitation to schedule an appointment.

Do you expect to receive vaccines on a regular basis and in larger quantities?
With the increased production of the Pfizer, Moderna, and Johnson & Johnson vaccines we feel confident that we will begin to see more frequent and larger quantities of the vaccine delivered to us. Hunterdon Healthcare is prepared to administer up to 2,000 vaccinations a week as soon as that quantity of vaccine is made available to us.

How long should I wait before calling you if I haven’t received a call?
Once you register for our waitlist you will receive an email confirming your inclusion. Each week you will receive an email with a vaccine status update. Once eligible and enough vaccine is available, you will be contacted to schedule your appointment. Please do not call your physician or the hospital for a status report as neither will have access to that information.

I signed up for the waitlist but didn’t receive a confirmation email. What do I do?
First, check your spam folder to make sure your email settings didn’t block it from your inbox. If the email isn’t in your spam folder, please submit the form again as a bad Internet connection or internal error may have prevented your submission from being sent. If afterward you still do not receive a confirmation email, please call the Call Center at (908) 237-4238 for assistance. Representatives will be accepting calls from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. Monday through Friday. The Vaccination Scheduling Call Center is not open on weekends or holidays.

I’m not receiving the weekly update email. What should I do?
First, check your spam folder to make sure your email settings didn’t block it from your inbox. Are you sure you typed in your email correctly? Is your email inbox full? After verifying the information above, please call the Call Center at (908) 237-4238 for assistance. Representatives will be accepting calls from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. Monday through Friday. The Vaccination Scheduling Call Center is not open on weekends or holidays.

My friend signed up for the waitlist several days after I did and they received a call to schedule an appointment. Why did they receive a call before me?
Individuals on the waitlist will be contacted to schedule an appointment based on their eligibility and risk factors. If they were contacted before you then they may have identified medical issues included on the list of NJDOH mandated eligibility requirements. In the event of all things being equal with the exception of the order in which you submitted your form to be placed on the list, then it is likely that our Call Center attempted to reach you to schedule an appointment but was unable to reach you for any variety of reasons including mailbox full, no mailbox set-up, and incorrect phone number. If you were unable to be reached then they will proceed to the next individual on the list. If this happens, do not be concerned. Your name will not be removed from the list nor will the order in which you submitted your request change. Attempts will be made to contact you again to schedule an appointment at the next available vaccination clinic.

If I miss the call to schedule an appointment what should I do?
If you receive a voicemail message from the vaccination call center, please follow their instructions. If we were not able to leave a message, you will retain your position on the list and will be called to schedule an appointment at the next available vaccination clinic. Please note that all calls from the Vaccination Scheduling Call Center will appear as “Hunterdon Healthcare” on your caller-ID.

Can I sign-up for someone else who is unable to do so?
Absolutely, with their permission, of course.

Do you expect to receive the Johnson & Johnson vaccine?
At this time we have not been notified that we are receiving the Johnson & Johnson vaccine. This does not mean that we will not receive it. Hunterdon Healthcare receives notification from the State of New Jersey about expected vaccine deliveries only days before the vaccine is received. Hunterdon Healthcare has previously received both Pfizer and Moderna vaccines so it is likely that the Johnson & Johnson vaccine will also be received at some point.

Can I choose which vaccine I want?
Unfortunately, no. Vaccination clinics are scheduled based on the vaccine received. All first-dose vaccination clinics will only offer one vaccine. The brand of the vaccine will be shared with individuals when contacted to schedule an appointment. Should the individual choose not to schedule an appointment based on the brand of vaccine available, they continue to remain on the waitlist.

Can I remove my name from the waitlist if I receive the vaccine elsewhere?
Yes, please do! A link to do so will be provided in the weekly vaccine status update email.

If I received my first dose of Pfizer or Moderna does my second dose have to be the same brand?
Yes. Your second dose appointment will be made when you arrive for your first dose.

If I received my first vaccine somewhere other than Hunterdon Healthcare can I receive my second vaccine at Hunterdon?
No. Second doses of vaccine are distributed to vaccination sites specifically for the individuals who received their first dose at that site. You should receive your second dose at the same facility as your first dose. If your first dose of vaccine was received out-of-state and you are not able to return to that state for your second dose, please contact our Vaccination Scheduling Call Center at (908) 237-4238 between 9 a.m. and 5 p.m., Monday through Friday, for guidance.

Am I eligible to get the vaccine now?
For the latest information refer to https://covid19.nj.gov/pages/vaccine or call 1-855-568-0545.

Where else can I get the vaccine in the area?
Please visit the NJ Vaccine Schedule System: https://covidvaccine.nj.gov/ for a list of vaccination locations.

If you registered through the state vaccine site you will first be notified when you become eligible for the vaccine and then notified again when an appointment is available to you through their scheduling system.

If I am not a Hunterdon County resident or do not work in Hunterdon County can I get the vaccine from you?
Hunterdon Healthcare is permitted to administer vaccines to all individuals who live, work, go to school, and/or receive medical care in the State of New Jersey. Eligibility is not restricted to the specific county in which you live or work.

If I am feeling sick on the day of my vaccine appointment can I still receive it?
Please call your Primary Care provider for individualized instructions.

What are the differences between the Pfizer, Moderna, and Johnson & Johnson vaccines?
The Pfizer and Moderna vaccines are made using messenger RNA, or mRNA, a technology that delivers a bit of genetic code to cells — in effect, a recipe to make the surface protein (known as spike) on the SARS-2 virus. The proteins made with the mRNA instructions activate the immune system, teaching it to see the spike protein as foreign and develop antibodies and other immunity weapons with which to fight it.

The J&J vaccine uses a different approach to instruct human cells to make the SARS-2 spike protein, which then triggers an immune response. It is what’s known as a viral vector vaccine. A harmless adenovirus that can’t make you sick has been engineered to carry the genetic code for the SARS-2 spike protein. Once the adenovirus enters cells, they use that code to make spike proteins.

The Pfizer vaccine has been authorized for use for people aged 16 and older. Moderna’s has been cleared for use in people 18 and older. J&J’s vaccine has been cleared for people 18 and older.

The Pfizer vaccine showed an efficacy of 95% at preventing symptomatic COVID-19 infection after two doses. The Moderna vaccine was 94.1% effective at preventing symptomatic COVID-19 after the second dose. Comparing the efficacy of those vaccines to the efficacy of Johnson & Johnson’s is challenging because of differences in the designs of Phase 3 clinical tests. Pfizer’s and Moderna’s trials both tested for any symptomatic COVID-19 infection. Pfizer started counting cases seven days after receipt of the second dose of vaccine, while Moderna waited until day 14 to start counting cases.

J&J, by contrast, sought to determine whether one dose of its vaccine protected against moderate to severe COVID-19 illness — defined as a combination of a positive test and at least one symptom such as shortness of breath, beginning from 14 or 28 days after the single shot. (The company collected data for both.)

There are two other key differences in the study data: geography and calendar. The studies were done in different locations where different strains were circulating. And they were done during different months when the amount of virus in the community differed.

Because of the difference in the trials, making direct comparisons is a bit like comparing apples and oranges. The J&J one-dose vaccine was shown to be 85% protective against severe disease.

Tour of Hunterdon Medical Center’s Vaccination Clinic

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