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When can I get the COVID-19 Vaccine?

We understand the frustration with trying to find an appointment for a COVID-19 Vaccine. The supply at this time is not meeting the demand, but our hope is that this will change soon. We have heard many concerns from our community regarding the registration process for signing up for the vaccine. As of March 4, 2021, Hunterdon Healthcare is now offering a COVID-19 Vaccination Wait List.

COVID-19 Vaccination Clinic appointments will be scheduled from the wait list for those who are eligible based on New Jersey vaccination phases – not by when you sign-up. As a reminder, vaccine is distributed according to eligibility as per the New Jersey Department of Health and CDC guidelines. Vaccination clinics will be scheduled as vaccine becomes available. Due to COVID-19 vaccine supply limitations, it may be some time until you receive a call or notification to schedule an appointment. Please be patient. By placing your name on this list you will be contacted when appointments are available and you are eligible. 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.

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

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 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 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 much vaccine 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 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 vaccine on a regular basis and 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. As a reminder, you will not be called to make a vaccination appointment until you meet NJDOH eligibility requirements. Once you meet these requirements 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. The demand for the vaccine is significantly higher than the quantities of vaccine being distributed throughout the state. We kindly ask for your patience as it will take a couple of months (or longer) to vaccinate every individual who wishes to be vaccinated.

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 afterwards 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 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 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. 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. You will be contacted again to schedule an appointment at the next available vaccination clinic.

If I miss the call to schedule an appointment what do I do?
You do not have to do anything. 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 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.

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 8 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.

As of March 3, 2021,vaccines are available to the following groups:

  • Paid and unpaid healthcare workers
  • Residents and workers of long-term care and high-risk congregate care facilities
  • First responders including sworn law enforcement and fire professionals
  • Individuals aged over 65
  • Individuals aged 16-64 that have certain medical conditions that increase the risk of severe illness from the virus

Beginning March 15, 2021, the following groups will be eligible to book vaccine appointments:

  • Pre-K to 12 educators and staff
  • Childcare workers
  • Transportation workers
  • Additional public safety workers
  • Additional high-risk individuals

Beginning March 29, 2021, additional frontline essential workers will be eligible to book vaccine appointments.

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 can I get the vaccine from you?
Hunterdon Healthcare is permitted to administer vaccine 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 efficacy of 95% at preventing symptomatic Covid infection after two doses. The Moderna vaccine was 94.1% effective at preventing symptomatic Covid-19 after the second dose.

But comparing the efficacy of those vaccines to the efficacy of Johnson & Johnson’s is challenging because of differences in the designs of the Phase 3 clinical tests. Pfizer’s and Moderna’s trials both tested for any symptomatic Covid infection. Pfizer started counting cases from 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 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.

February 28, 2021 – We sincerely appreciate the wonderful compliments regarding our COVID-19 vaccination clinics we have received from members of our community.

It is important to note that at this time, Hunterdon Healthcare does not have a vaccine waitlist, however, we are in the process of creating a new registration system which will be communicated shortly.

Physicians associated/aligned with Hunterdon Medical Center with patients who meet current eligibility requirements provided our Vaccination Team names of their patients considered most vulnerable to the virus. Because vaccine continues to be very limited patients have been chosen randomly from these names to schedule for small first dose clinics as the vaccine has been received.

As more vaccine becomes available and larger quantities are received, we will be able to host many more and much larger clinics that will expedite our ability to vaccinate those eligible to receive the vaccine.

We want to make sure everyone has a vaccination experience like those being shared on Facebook and our team has been diligently working on a new waitlist and process that we believe will offer a significantly better and easier opportunity for members of the community interested in receiving the vaccine to be included on a waitlist and obtain a vaccine appointment. We’re finalizing the details and plan to make a formal announcement later this week.

With the increased production of both Pfizer and Moderna vaccines, as well as the recent FDA approval of the Johnson & Johnson vaccine, we’re confident that we will soon begin to receive larger quantities of these vaccines allowing us to offer many more vaccine clinics.

We truly appreciate the patience and understanding of our community. Please continue to watch our Facebook page and hunterdonhealthcare.org for our new waitlist details later this week.

Tour of Hunterdon Medical Center’s Vaccination Clinic

Important Message Regarding COVID-19 Vaccine

January 18, 2021Governor Murphy announced on January 13 that, effective January 14, vaccine distribution phase 1A is expanded to include persons age 65 and up, and persons age 16-64 with conditions that increase the risk for serious COVID-19.

Hunterdon Healthcare has been working for many weeks to prepare for community vaccination. The changes announced by Governor Murphy have resulted in many community inquiries to schedule appointments to get vaccinated.

Please be assured that we will do everything we can to get vaccines to people who meet the criteria defined by the State as soon as possible. You will be able to call a central number to get vaccinated, once we have the vaccine supply.
We want to help you get vaccinated. Please follow us on Facebook (Hunterdon Healthcare), watch our website and local newspapers for vaccination appointment information when vaccine supply arrives. And of course, monitor your patient portal for messages as well.

Please realize that it will take weeks to months for everyone to get vaccinated.

And, remember to protect yourself and your community by masking and maintain social distancing.

We strongly encourage you to visit the websites named above to register for the vaccine and check on State and County-run clinics.

If you are interested in receiving the COVID-19 vaccine here at Hunterdon Healthcare and meet the criteria listed above, please call Hunterdon Healthcare’s Vaccine Call Center at 908-237-4238 to schedule an appointment at one of our clinics.

Please note: There is extremely high call volume and demand to receive the vaccine. Please be patient. More clinics are being added to meet the demand.

Thank you!

COVID-19 Vaccinations are Available for Healthcare Workers in Hunterdon, Somerset, Mercer, and Warren Counties

January 6, 2021Hunterdon Healthcare has a COVID-19 vaccine available for healthcare workers.

Who are “healthcare personnel” in Phase 1A? Healthcare personnel is paid and unpaid persons serving in health care settings who have the potential for direct or indirect exposure to patients or infectious materials.
Examples of healthcare workers, but not limited to:
✓ Licensed healthcare professionals like doctors, nurses, dentists, and pharmacists
✓ Staff like receptionists, janitors, mortuary services, laboratory technicians
✓ Consultants, per diem, and contractors who are not directly employed by the facility
✓ Unpaid workers like health professional students, trainees, volunteers, and essential caregivers
✓ Community health workers, doulas, and public health professionals like Medical Reserve Corps
✓ Personnel with variable venues like EMS, paramedics, funeral staff, and autopsy workers
✓ Other paid or unpaid people who work in a healthcare setting, who may have direct or indirect contact with infectious persons or materials, and who cannot work from home.

Please call Hunterdon Healthcare’s Vaccine Call Center at 908-237-4238 to schedule an appointment at one of our clinics. You do not need to be a patient of Hunterdon Healthcare, but do need to be a healthcare worker living or working in Hunterdon, Somerset, Mercer, and/or Warren Counties.

Eligibility

Eligibility for the vaccine is dependent on your health status, age, and profession. It also depends on the amount of vaccine received in accomplishing the first phase — called Phase 1A — which has been underway for health care workers and nursing home residents. These phases were created by the Centers for Disease Control & Prevention and are being followed by the Department of Health in each state. Hunterdon Healthcare is deep into Phase 1A with first dose vaccines already provided to more than 60% of our caregivers and now beginning to administer second doses this week.

In addition to vaccinating all of our healthcare workers, providers, and nurses, we are also actively vaccinating other healthcare professionals (i.e. dentists) not associated with the hospital in Hunterdon, Warren, Somerset, and Mercer Counties.

Individuals who are 75 and older have been prioritized to be included in the upcoming second phase – Phase 1B – which also includes frontline essential workers such as firefighters, police officers, corrections officers, food and agricultural workers, United States Postal Service workers, manufacturing workers, grocery store workers, public transit workers, teachers, and daycare workers.

Details on how to register for the vaccine and exactly when Phase1B will start have not yet been released but are expected to start soon.

The third phase, called Phase 1C, includes people aged 65 to 74 years (high risk of hospitalization, illness, and death from COVID-19), people aged 16 to 64 years with underlying medical conditions (increased risk of serious, life-threatening complications from COVID-19), and other essential workers, such as people who work in transportation and logistics, food service, housing construction and finance, information technology, communications, energy, law, media, public safety, and public health.

The following, Phase 2, includes the rest of the population wanting to receive the vaccine, which is expected to begin by summer 2021.

We understand the demand our community has for the vaccine and as soon as the state of New Jersey permits us to enter the next phase of vaccinations, we will be ready to do so in collaboration with our practices and the county department of health.

At this time there is no need to contact your Hunterdon Healthcare provider or Hunterdon Medical Center to request a COVID vaccination. As soon as the vaccine and approval to proceed to the next phase are received we will immediately communicate with you through our patient portal, our Facebook page, and the local media.

In the interim, if you would like to read additional information on the COVID-19 vaccine: availability, distribution schedule, and locations, you can find these details and more at HTTP://covid19.nj.gov.

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