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December 03, 2021

Burlington County to open COVID-19 vaccine mega-site in response to expanded eligibility

The FDA has authorized booster shots to all adults and allowed children as young as age 5 to get immunized

As holiday gatherings draw closer and the cold weather forces people indoors, where the coronavirus spreads more easily, Burlington County is trying to boost its COVID-19 vaccination rate by reopening a mega-site. 

The new site will open Tuesday inside the former A.C. Moore Arts and Crafts store at 1190 Nixon Drive in the East Gate Square shopping Center in Mt. Laurel Township. 

The site will be open Tuesdays through Saturdays, but daily hours of operation will vary. People are encouraged to book appointments online, though a limited number of walk-up appointments will be available. 

Public health officials said they are opening the mega-site to respond to widening vaccination eligibility. Last month, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration authorized a lower-dose version of the Pfizer vaccine for children ages 5-11 and boosters for all adults

The site will be open to anyone eligible to be vaccinated or receive a booster shot. The immunizations are free, even if people don't have health insurance. 

First and second doses are available to anyone age 5 and older. Children ages 5-11 will receive a lower-dose version of the Pfizer vaccine.

Booster shots will be available to anyone age 18 and older who received two shots of the Pfizer or Moderna vaccines or the single-shot Johnson and Johnson vaccine. The site only will provide Pfizer boosters, as the U.S. Center for Disease Control has approved "mixing and matching."

People getting their second or third shots should bring their vaccine cards so they can be updated.

"During this holiday season, as people travel and gather with family and friends, it is critical to remain vigilant against COVID-19 and its variants by getting vaccinated," New Jersey Health Commissioner Judith Perischelli said.

The county's first COVID-19 mega-site opened at the Moorestown Mall in January, shortly after the U.S. began its rollout. The site administered more than 400,000 vaccines before closing in late July. At its peak, just under 6,000 doses were administered per day. 

Public health officials closed the site because they wanted to localize vaccination efforts in individual communities, rather than having people traveling from across the county to a single site. 

The new site is being run in partnership with the U.S. National Guard and Virtua Health. 

Burlington County's neighbors have similar sites for their residents.

Camden County's COVID-19 Health Hub, a partnership with Cooper University Health and the Rutgers-Camden School of Nursing, is located at Camden County College's Blackwood campus at 200 College Drive.

It's open from 4-8 p.m. on Tuesdays and from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. on Thursdays. Residents can make appointments at this link using computers and at this link using mobile phones.

The Gloucester County Public Works Complex, at 1200 N. Delsea Drive in Clayton, also has been converted into a vaccine site. Appointments can be made through the state's vaccine scheduling website, but walk-ins are welcome.

The site will be open Tuesdays to Saturdays through Dec. 18. After that, hours will become more sparse during the holidays. The site's schedule lists its varying hours of operation. 

These mega-sites are not the only places vaccines are available in South Jersey. More localized pop-up sites will continue to be available in communities around the region.

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